This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics
Meetings, January 1013, 1996, Orlando, Florida.
A course in mathematics and technology for prospective teachers
Several national mathematics organizations have recommended the
incorporation of appropriate computer technology into classrooms at all
levels. A corollary of these recommendations is that prospective teachers
of mathematics must thoroughly learn the appropriate uses, capabilities,
and limitations of these devices, so that they can effectively manage the
resultant classroom environment involving greater emphasis on student
activity and discovery.
The Texas A & M Department of Mathematics has approached the challenge of
training future secondaryschool teachers in the use of various
technologies by instituting
a course in which students use TI82 calculators, The Geometer's
Sketchpad, and Maple to solve a variety of problems involving
precalculus mathematics, discrete mathematics, calculus, geometry, linear
algebra, and statistics. The prerequisite is the completion of a
seniorlevel mathematics course, so that the course comes late in
students' careers, and they can concentrate on the use of the technology as
a problemsolving tool rather than attempt to learn substantial amounts
of new mathematical content simultaneously. This is not a teaching
methods course, but one in which students learn appropriate uses for the
technology they will use in their teaching careers, in
essentially the same type of active problemsolving setting that their
future students will encounter. This is accomplished through a number of
carefully
chosen and challenging problemsolving experiences involving and extending
mathematics learned in previous courses. Students also explore openended
"project" problems of particular interest to them. Thus, the course
provides
a "capstone" experience in problemsolving as well as a mathematical
content review for the future mathematics teacher.
Dr. Vincent P. Schielack, Jr.
Department of Mathematics
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 778433368
vinces@math.tamu.edu
