Mathematics Education Colloquium with Dr. Kastberg

Mathematics Education Colloquium with Dr. Kastberg

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BYU Mathematics Education department invited Dr. Signe Kastberg from Purdue University to give a colloquium on March 29 on relational teacher education. Dr. Kastberg’s research interests are in mathematics teacher education, specifically relational practice including exploring and illustrating listening, trust, care, and empathy, and the ways in which these sustain and motivate student-teacher collaborations. “What we are trying to do was to foster interactions that help others and ourselves to grow, and there will be reciprocal interactions as we make ourselves vulnerable to others [the students] and showing who we are as a person, and then we will feel responsible for contributing to the growth of each other,” said Dr. Kastberg at the colloquium. . According to Dr. Kastberg’s research, relationships have been identified as foundational in professional education including…
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Support Teachers to Develop Productive Classroom Discussion

Support Teachers to Develop Productive Classroom Discussion

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BYU Mathematics Education Assistant Professor Kate Johnson co-authored the textbook “Mathematics discourse in secondary classrooms: A practice-based resource for professional learning”. The textbook was published in November 2017 after eight years of researching, writing, and evaluating. “I wrote most of the material when I was working on my doctorate at Michigan State University, and because of the amount of work and time that I put in, the faculty who is in charge at that time decided to recognize my work and put my name as one of the authors,” said Dr. Johnson.  The book provides seven professional learning modules that offer important ideas to assist students to engage in richer and deeper conversations in class, such as what kinds of conversation is more meaningful in learning mathematics. Another purpose of…
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Student Teaching not only Prepares but Lands Student Jobs

Student Teaching not only Prepares but Lands Student Jobs

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Chelsey Van de Merwe, a student who switched her major to Mathematics Education after her LDS mission was hired 3 months after student teaching at Mountain View High School. Every student in Mathematics Education is required to student teach in the last semester. In Fall 2017, the vast majority of the students who graduated from the program have secured a full-time job. “For a semester I wanted to do marine biology, but I always loved math. After my mission, I fell in love with teaching, then I came back and decided that I was going to teach math,” said Chelsey. The BYU Mathematics Education program prepares students with different courses that focus on task design, lesson planning, observation in public school and classroom rehearsal. In “Mathematics Teaching in the Public…
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Digital Literacies in Mathematics

Digital Literacies in Mathematics

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BYU Mathematics Education Graduate Coordinator Dr. Daniel Siebert co-authored the article “Digital Mathematics Literacies,” which was published in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy in March 2017. The paper provides recommendations of best practices for teaching digital literacies in mathematics classrooms. The American Library Association defines digital literacy as the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, which requires both cognitive and technical skills. Digital literacy varies across disciplines, and should not be generalized. “A lot of times, literacy educators think these general reading and literacy skills should apply across all different subject areas, and my argument is that when you look at literacy in mathematics, it is very different than literacy in other fields,” said Dr. Siebert. The article is written…
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The Importance of Riemann Sum Concept in Solving Integration Problem

The Importance of Riemann Sum Concept in Solving Integration Problem

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The International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education published a research article by BYU Mathematics Education assistant professor Steven Jones, PhD, in August 2017. The article “Teaching integration: How certain instructional moves may undermine the potential conceptual value of the Riemann sum and the Riemann integral” discussed the importance of teaching Riemann sum-based conceptions in introductory calculus classes, which are important for solving science and engineering problems. It is common for calculus instructors to initially teach the Riemann sum and Riemann integral concepts when introducing integration in first-semester calculus. However, they also may send subtle messages to students that the concept is not important. “What I am hoping to do is to remind instructors to really think about not just teaching shortcuts to calculate numerical answers, but what ideas can…
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Learn to Notice Student Thinking

Learn to Notice Student Thinking

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BYU Mathematics Education professors coauthored two chapters in the book Teacher Noticing: Bridging and Broadening Perspectives, Contexts, and Frameworks, published by Springer International in July 2017. The book reflects the continuing development of teacher noticing through an exploration of the latest research. Both chapters focused on the importance of observing and noticing students’ valuable mathematical thinking, and then turning it into a purposeful learning discussion. Dr. Dawn Teuscher, Dr. Keith Leatham and Dr. Blake Peterson coauthored the chapter “From a framework to a lens: Learning to notice student mathematical thinking”. This chapter shares evidence of how student teachers who had previous research experience identifying student mathematical thinking in classroom videos could apply these noticing skills in their student teaching. “During their student teaching, they have to do journals, and the…
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BYU Faculty Rank Top 20 Mathematics Education Journals

BYU Faculty Rank Top 20 Mathematics Education Journals

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PROVO, Utah–BYU mathematics education professors Keith Leatham, PhD and Steven Williams, PhD, recently published research ranking 20 of the top mathematics education journals. The article, entitled “Journal Quality in Mathematics Education” appeared in the July issue of the Journal For Research in Mathematics Education, and included comprehensive data ranking the 20 most-cited mathematics education journals into “very high”, “high”, “medium-high” and “medium” quality categories. “We hope this article will provide a foundation for groups of mathematics educators, either within departments of mathematics or of teacher education, to argue for the relative value of their work,” Leatham commented. “We also think it can provide some important guidance to those who are trying to decide where they might submit their work for publication.” Through their research, Leatham and Williams ranked the Journal…
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BYU Math Education Faculty STaR at Recent Educator Conference

BYU Math Education Faculty STaR at Recent Educator Conference

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BYU Math Education Faculty stood out at the recent Service, Teaching and Research Institute event in Park City, Utah, held June 24-29, 2017. Professors Dan Siebert, PhD and Steve Williams, PhD volunteered extensive time to review manuscripts, provide feedback and facilitate two ninety minute feedback sessions with STaR fellows. Keith Leatham, PhD also attended the conference as a full time staff member for the second year in a row, after being involved with the program since 2014. “We really could not have provided fellows with detailed feedback and guidance without assistance from Dan and Steve,” wrote Karen Hollebrands and Jeff Shih, co-directors of the STaR program. “We appreciate the dedication of BYU’s faculty to the mentorship of early career faculty in mathematics education.” The event, sponsored by the Association of…
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Research by Dr. Steven Jones Published in Journal of Mathematical Behavior

Research by Dr. Steven Jones Published in Journal of Mathematical Behavior

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The Journal of Mathematical Behavior published an article by BYU Mathematics Education Assistant Professor Steven Jones, PhD, in March 2017. “An Exploratory Study on Student Understandings of Derivatives in Real-World, Non-Kinematics Contexts” examines how students take the concepts they learn in their math classes, and apply them to coursework in areas of study outside of pure mathematics. In particular, Jones examined how students worked with, interpreted, and reasoned about calculus derivatives inside various physics and engineering contexts. He examined the additional complexities that exist in understanding the derivative in these kinds of contexts, such as knowing how to work with “non-time” independent variables. While students were typically capable of calculating these derivatives, they did not always know how to make sense of what they meant. “The vast majority of students…
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Dr. Teuscher Kicks Off Research Funded by the National Science Foundation

Dr. Teuscher Kicks Off Research Funded by the National Science Foundation

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After receiving an EHR Core Research Grant from the National Science Foundation In September of last year, BYU Mathematics Education associate professor Dawn Teuscher is putting her research into motion. “Because of the elite status of the NSF and the rigorous submission process, obtaining grants through this agency is very competitive,” said Department Chair Dr. Blake Peterson. “Obtaining this grant is a significant accomplishment for Dr. Teuscher, and for the department.” Dr. Teuscher–in conjunction with three other professors at Grand Valley State University, University of Arkansas Fayetteville, and University of Nevada Las Vegas–originally received the three year grant after submitting a proposal to measure how eighth grade teachers make curriculum choices, and explore the reasoning behind the activities that are included or excluded in lesson plans. Now, they’re getting to…
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