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better math teachers
Posted:
Jul 19, 1995 1:39 AM


I think Laura Van Zoest touched on an important component in the making of better math teachers. As someone who is working on the redesigning of an undergraduate mathematics education program at the University of Illinois, I have come to believe that our own students do not need more math courses to make them better teachers, but they need math couses taught in a different way. They need to attend math courses that have professors model the STANDARDS way of teaching. We need to start thinking of these preservice teachers as constructivist learners. The context that students learn math is directly dependent on the beliefs and attititudes that acquire about not only the mathematics itself, but also the way math should be taught. Those of us working with preservice teachers have to start integrating math content and pedagogy. If we truly believe that teachers teach the way they are taught, then we need to take a close look at not only the math classes they are taking, but the WAY those math classes are being taught. Too much time is spent between math professors and math education professsors complaining about what the other is or isn't doing. We each have something to contribute to the making of a math teacher. Let's spend some time exploring each others worlds and try to work together so that our graduating teachers have a strong indication of what the teaching of mathematics is all about.
Claran Einfeldt University of Illinois



