Creating an Active Learning Environment:
Preparing Pre-Service Teachers

Welcome from Professor Hubert Ludwig

Back to Preparing Pre-Service Teachers

Welcome to the continuation of the Contributed Paper Session "Creating An Active Learning Environment: Preparing Pre-Service Teachers."

My experience with professional conferences is that you encounter many new ideas which you would like to pursue but when you return home it is necessary to catch up with all the things that piled up while you were away. Handouts and notes are neglected and by the time they are found at the bottom of some pile on your desk the initial enthusiasm has declined and little or no effort is made to follow up.

With Contributed Paper Sessions there are many roadblocks to obtaining all the information which you want about presentations. As a contributor in the past and as an organizer for this session I am very aware of time constraints. Time that I as a presenter would like to have to share all of my ideas with my listeners and time that I as an organizer am asked to provide for speakers. There are proposers who ask for more than the minimum ten minutes, the MAA wants you to accommodate as many relevant proposals as possible, and even if you adhere to all minimums there may be proposals which you would like to accept that you must reject simply because there isn't enough time available. As a presenter you find that there are many more bits of information which you would like to share with your listeners. As an attendee at the session you find that there is information which you wish the speaker had provided.

The concept for the Contributed Paper Session was developed by my colleague Dr. Kay Roebuck and I. We both teach Mathematics 331 (Computer Applications in the Teaching of Mathematics) which is a required course for all secondary mathematics education students at Ball State. We are of different generations, we have different computing backgrounds, we have different approaches to the course. As we discussed the course we began to wonder what other people were doing to deal with the problem of preparing pre-service teachers to use computers in their teaching. Our original proposal to the MAA was for a session dealing with the single topic of computer preparation. At the behest of the MAA the coverage was broadened to consider all aspects of teacher preparation for an active learning teaching style.

The purpose of this page is to provide a venue for interaction on the topics of the CPS and other pre-service preparation for active learning while "surfing the net" (this certainly is an active learning activity). Many of us do manage to find time to fire up Lynx, Netscape, Mosaic or other Web browsers. The hope is that the opportunity presented here will allow follow up activities to be pursued by simply pointing a web browser in the proper direction.

The initial step in the development of this page will be to ask all speakers at the Contributed Paper Session to post expanded versions of their presentations. Beyond that the hope is that others will be willing to post their own viewpoints and reactions to other items posted. Given the variety of topics which are to be discussed at the CPS there is ample opportunity for subgroups to develop. My special area of interest will be the preparation of pre-service teachers to utilize computers in their eventual teaching assignments.

Both the MAA and the NCTM refer to making students responsible for their own learning. How do we prepare pre-service teachers to move in this direction in their future teaching assignments? This is an area in which most of us are feeling our way along. Please share your feelings about this important topic either by posting reactions to the presentations at the CPS or by expressing your thoughts on other aspects of this area of teacher preparation.

Hubert Ludwig
Ball State University
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5 March 1996