Implementing Reform Methods of Teaching Mathematics in a Traditional and Conservative Department.

Sinforosa "Rose" Tan
rose.tan@sunywcc.edu
Mathematics
Westchester Community College
75 Grasslands Road
USA

Abstract

Implementing Reform Methods of Teaching Mathematics In a Traditional and Conservative Department. The Mathematics Department at Westchester Community College is fairly conservative. Most members of the Department were skeptical and not very knowledgeable about mathematics reform and the American Mathematics Association of Two Year College’s Crossroads. The Department is known for its excellent teaching and its strong and traditional mathematics courses. It is therefore difficult for most of the faculty to consider making dramatic changes in the curriculum and teaching pedagogy. The presenter will discuss the strategies used to overcome the Department’s initial resistance in developing a Reform College Algebra course, the challenges encountered in the process of implementing the course and how these challenges were met. The presenter will also discuss her experiences in teaching such a course for several semesters and how she dealt with students’ resistance and eventually encouraged them to have a more thoughtful approach to their learning of mathematics. The Department has been more receptive now to introducing some reform in Precalculus and upper level courses. The session participants will have the opportunity to work in groups with the TI-83 in solving problems that promote exploration, critical thinking, and modeling.


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