This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics
Meetings, January 10-13, 1996, Orlando, Florida.
Implementation of a new curriculum:
How the paradigm shift affects all aspects of instruction
As we plan changes in curriculum, it is important to
realize that once we have made some changes, however small,
we are standing in a different space than before taking those initial
steps. I have been involved in curriculum
development in calculus and precalculus courses which use
graphing technology, challenging application projects, and cooperative
learning groups in both classroom and computer lab. These changes
have influenced many choices I have made regarding selection of topics,
assessment of student achievement, construction of tests, and so on. These
changes have had an impact on me as an instructor. My classroom has become
more student-centered. My students are learning to trust their own
judgements --- sometimes challenging my approach to solving problems.
These changes have also had an impact on the rest of the department.
Students, who as freshmen were introduced to the methods of the ``new
calculus," approach upper-division courses and instructors with new
expectations. Many discussions of curriculum reform focus on content and
pedagogy. I will share some of the experiences of our department as we
have implemented curricular changes, and engage participants in a
discussion of how this paradigm shift affects us --- as individuals, as
departments, as part of a wider community of learners.
Barbara E. Reynolds, Cardinal Stritch College and Brown University