SYLLABUS for EMAT 3450: Field Work in Contextual Teaching and Learning in Mathematics
Spring 2001


Instructor: Dawn Leigh Anderson

Assistant: Brian Lawler

Class Time: Wednesdays, 2:30-4:25 p.m.

Room: Aderhold 102

Office: 109D Aderhold Hall Phones: 542-4569 (office)


Preservice teachers will

  • understand the benefits and challenges of teaching mathematics within a context
  • be able to find a context that facilitates the teaching of various mathematical topics
  • be able to identify and teach mathematical topics that are evident in a given context
  • be able to plan secondary mathematics lessons that involve sites and resources within their community.


  • Husain, Dilshad (February 1999). A twist on the basics, Techniques, 22-23.
  • Cahill, Julie. (February 1999). The classics in context, Techniques, 24-25.
  • Lozada, Marlene. (February 1999). When science gets racy, Techniques, 26-27. Parnell, Dale. (February, 1999) Making it fly, Techniques, 18-21.
  • and some others will be assigned throughout the course.


Week 1 (January 10)

  • General Ideas behind CTL
  • experiences of students in the class
  • Guest Speaker: Teresa Banker Quilts: A Context for Transformational Geometry
  • Read articles Write reactions. (Make contacts with school, see week 11)








Week 2 (January 17)

Content Example: Slope

  • Where does slope fit in the curriculum?
  • What is important to know about slope?
  • What is difficult to understand related to slope?

Slope Activity, including assessment

  • Is GBS Up to Code? (piloted High School activity)
  • Is Aderhold up to Code? (activity & key for preservice teachers)

Discussion of slope and activity.

Observations in schools

Week 3 & 4 (January 24 and 31)

  • Design an activity related to a mathematical topic in high school curriculum that incorporates a context in the way "Slope" was developed.
  • Mathematics-in-Context Activity Assignment
  • Critique of projects in triples
  • Revise and resubmit activities.
  • Observations in schools



Week 5-7 (February 7 (fieldtrip), February 14, February 21)

  • Industry example: McLane Distribution Center (February 7, 2-5 p.m.)
  • Field Trip & Examples of Activities
  • Contextually Found Mathematics: Turnover Rate
  • Contextually Found Mathematics: Organizing Goods within a Distribution Center
  • Discussion of possible mathematical topics

Week 8-10 (February 28, March 14, March 21)

Design a field trip and assignments (3-4 people to a site)

Field Trip and Contextual Activity Assignment

Feedback on activity


Week 11-14 (March 28, NO CLASS APRIL 4, April 11, April 18)

Implement Field Trip & Activities at a Middle School or High School

Week 15 (April 25)

Discussion of Field Trips

Revisions of Field Trips



  1. Contextual Mathematical Activity (Click Here for Info)
  2. *Field Trip plans (Click Here for Info)
  3. *Mathematical lessons based on Field Trip context (Click Here for format)
  4. Conduct Field Trip and Lessons at Middle or High School
    CLICK HERE for some of the students' reflections after conducting field trip and CTL lessons at school settings
  5. Reflection papers *These will be compiled into a class bounded book.


Important Dates to Remember:

  • January 10, Special Guest Speaker: Teresa Banker
  • Field Trip to McLane Distribution Company, Athens, GA Wednesday, February 7, 2-5 p.m.
  • Field Trip to Textile Museum, Washington, DC Thursday, April 19-Sunday, April 22


The Department of Mathematics Education
University of Georgia