Honors 200 Seminar - Fall 2003
The Math Forum @ Drexel
Home/Syllabus || Math Forum
Four key elements that guide the development of the Math Forum site and related research projects are: mathematics (and other content areas in spin-off projects), student thinking, teaching, and mentoring. We will use these four elements to examine the site from many angles and you will choose one (maybe two) areas of focus for your final project.
In this course, you will have the opportunity to use the Math Forum as a backdrop to reflect on your own learning, how education has functioned for you, when you've had good experiences in education and how those experiences relate to independent investigation.
You will begin the quarter by learning to mentor students who participate in Math Forum Problem of the Week services. You will think about what makes a good problem, how to analyze student thinking, and how the problems might reach into the classroom and shape learning there. Most importantly, it will be your job to turn kids on to learning and thinking about math.
You will meet some of the real people behind the website, including a math doctor, the original Problem of the Week administrator, the Forum's own ethnographer, and a math teacher turned web-page maker extraordinaire. It is not what they do that makes them "web celebrities", it's how they do it. We will look at how their work invites others to participate fully in the community.
For the last few weeks of the term, you will select an area of focus for your own project. You may work with a partner or small team, but you will be responsible for your own portfolio. You may choose to continue mentoring in the Problems of the Week, or you may try your hand as a math doctor, a resource developer, a resource cataloger, or something else that fits your learning journey.
The course is designed to:
- introduce students to the Math Forum resources, services, and associated research projects,
- present students with critical issues for developing a learning community, including the possibilities and limitations of the online environment,
- give students the opportunity to reflect on their own learning history and interests,
- teach students to mentor others in mathematics and problem-solving,
- give students an opportunity to deeply investigate a learning interest of their own, using the backdrop of the Math Forum services and research.