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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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Professor Dawn Teuscher wins research award from NCTM

Professor Dawn Teuscher wins research award from NCTM

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On April 3rd, 2019 Professor Dawn Teuscher along with former students Kylie Palsky and Charlie Palfreyman, received the Linking Research and Practice Outstanding Publication Award from NCTM for their co-authored article “Inverse Functions: Why Switch the Variable?” published in the March 2018 issue of Mathematics Teacher. “I was surprised by the award, but also excited to know that my work was appreciated and applicable to mathematics teachers. One of my reasons for leaving teaching in the public schools is that I wanted to influence more students than just my 180 students each year. I feel like my job now is to influence teachers, who then can influence their students. This allows me to impact more students than just those who would have taken my mathematics class.”  This award recognizes outstanding contributions to Linking…
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Dr. Blake Peterson Receives​ the Benjamin Cluff Jr. Excellence in Educator Preparation Award

Dr. Blake Peterson Receives​ the Benjamin Cluff Jr. Excellence in Educator Preparation Award

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On March 28th, 2019 Dr. Blake Peterson received the Benjamin Cluff Jr. Excellence in Educator Preparation award. Educator Preparation is the work to teach future K-12 teachers. Dr. Peterson has been the chair of the Department of Mathematics Education since 2014. Since then he has been very involved in recruitment. He said, “My focus is on preparing 7-12 mathematics teachers. Because of my current assignment as department chair, I have not been teaching future teachers much and my role is more with recruiting majors or working with accreditation issues across campus.” Dr. Peterson says, “Starting when the missionary age changed in the fall of 2012, we saw a 30% drop in the number of mathematics education majors. We thought those numbers would rebound after a couple of years, but the…
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