Department of Mathematics Education

EMAT 6950 Professional Seminar in Teaching Mathematics

Directed by J. Wilson

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Prior Students using this format

Heather Bridges
Leanne May
Derelle McFarland

The purpose of the EMAT 4950 Professional Seminar in Mathematics Teaching is to reflect on the experience of student teaching, to reflect on the total program of preparation to teach mathematics, and to develop a plan for career development as a mathematics teacher.

Some probing questions

1. What are the perceived gaps in your preparation to teach mathematics? That is, what would you need to do to be ready to begin teaching? What sort of reading, materials, preparation, or organizing would you do in the short term?

2. What might it mean to you to "Become a master teacher of mathematics?" For example, this question asks to project what it might mean to go from a beginning teacher to the experienced, master teacher? What might your plan for career development be (assuming you would at some point begin teaching mathematics)?

3. What is your vision for mathematics teaching? What should mathematics teaching be, rather than what mathematics teachin is now, or what mathematics teaching has been.

Some sources to read or study

1. The NCTM Standards documents (three of them)

2. Journey Through Genius by William Dunham

3. Reinventing Schools: (

4. Other Web sources such as (NCTM Home Page) (MAA Home Page) (AMS Home Page) (SIAM Home Page) (MSEB Home Page) (Math Forum Home Page)

or wherever the links from these may lead.

5. The journals:

The Mathematics Teacher
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
Teaching Mathematics to Children (
alias The Arithmetic Teacher)
School Science and Mathematics
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

Specific Assignments.

1. Read. Prepare an annotated bibliography of the items you think are important to you.

2. Paper: Prepare a paper addressing the question of becoming a master teacher of mathematics. Your paper should be clear and concise on what this might mean to you, the hypothetical mathematics teacher, and lay out a hypothetical action plan that you would like to follow if (when?) you become a mathematics teacher. Limit to approximately 10 pages.

3. Project: Prepare a set of essays/materials on examining at least four of the "great theorems" that Dunham presents in Journey Through Genius. The focus of your essays/materials should be to take advantage of technology to find ways to present the great theorems to students. This may mean development of supporting materials, but the project is to in some way provide a resource for presenting these "great theorems" to students. Prepare these materials to put on your Web page.