Students’ Application of Concavity and Inflection Points to Real-world Contexts

Students’ Application of Concavity and Inflection Points to Real-world Contexts

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In mathematics education, much of what is taught connects to the outside world. However, there are often disconnects between how students learn math in math courses and how they use or apply that math in the real world or in science courses. Past research has shown that this is especially true of calculus content. Dr. Steven Jones chose to study this disconnect from application to other fields by examining the calculus concepts of concavity and inflection points and how they are reasoned qualitatively and quantitatively by students. Dr. Jones conducted his research by giving students currently enrolled in calculus courses particular tasks which dealt with these concepts. Some tasks were ones that would be typically seen in their calculus classes and others dealt with examining these concepts in real world…
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The Structure of Student Teaching Can Change the Focus to Students’ Mathematical Thinking

The Structure of Student Teaching Can Change the Focus to Students’ Mathematical Thinking

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For many undergraduates studying in the field of math education, student teaching serves as a trial run for their real world experience. When structured correctly, student teaching can prepare students to be excellent mathematics teachers when they finally step into their own classroom. However, when the focus of the experience is on classroom management rather than on teaching the educational material, the student teacher fails to garner the skill most vital to their chosen profession: helping students to learn and understand mathematics. In 2006, Dr. Blake Peterson and Dr. Keith Leatham (current chair and associate chair of the BYU Mathematics Education Department) evaluated their traditional approach to student teaching, and then restructured the student teaching experience to better meet the needs of the student teachers and of the program. This…
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Congratulations Brinley Stevens!!

Congratulations Brinley Stevens!!

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Congratulations to Brinley Stevens who was the recipient of the Mathematics Education Outstanding Student award for Winter Semester 2019. She will be student teaching this semester and will be graduating in April 2019. We wish you the best!
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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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3MT

3MT

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Congratulations to graduate students Haley Jeppson and Emily Hales.  They are the winners of our department's 3MT competition.  They moved on to the college competition were they both were awarded honorable mention.  Click here for more information from the college.
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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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