Pre-course work, due for day 1

Reading Assignments:

Here are the reading assignments to be done by first day of M147 class, ie June 27. Since these are significant, please start early. You all now have key-card access to Kem 200, from where you can borrow the books (there are 4+ copies of each there). You all need to read the following chapters: You also choose one book to read in its entirety. Please arrange things so that each book is read by at least two people. (I will put a sign-up sheet in Kem 200). The books have different styles, but each will be essential background for the course and your development as an educator. As you read, you'll find it essential to take notes; this is is because you'll want to summarize chapters to others in class, maybe weeks later. Please get a good start on reading, since you also will have writing assingments due June 30. Stay tuned! Have fun reading about the wonders of our brains.

Writing Assignments:

  1. Write a page or two about your goals for yourself as a teacher. What sort of teacher do you want to be? What do you need to learn, how do you need to gro w, to be that teacher? This piece, unaltered (so as to capture your perspective at the beginning of the course), will be part of your course portfolio, so treat it as a final draft.
  2. Choose a mathematics course you have recently taken (not a reading course). Consider how it was taught, how you learned the material, how you felt about it. Write an essay (~5 pages) analyzing the course and your personal experience in it from the perspective of one of the three books (Duckworth, Skemp, or Zull; make sure you have read the whole book you choose). What does the author bring to the discussion? How would you analyze the course, from both teaching and learning standpoints, in terms of his or her ideas?

    A good paper will analyze a course in terms of two or three of the most central ideas from the book, supported with specific details, both objective and subjective (your experience as a student is highly relevant). You do not have to agree with the book in order to write an analysis from its perspective, but you do have to engage seriously with it. For one possible example, one of the important ideas in Zull's book is the learning cycle. If you are analyzing a course from the perspective of this idea, you could start by identifying the ways in which the course did or did not lead you as a student to move through all parts of the learning cycle, go on to talk about how this should have (according to Zull's model) affected your learning, and conclude by talking about whether your experience agrees with this model, and why or why not.