Supervising Mathematics Student Teachers. Many mathematics faculty members have been thrust into the role of supervising student teachers without adequate training. The goal of this paper is to report on an approach to provide university mathematics faculty with tools to use in supervising student teachers. This session will provide a brief research background on supervision and discuss how faculty can participate as a supervisor during a training session that uses the selective verbatim observation technique and a post-observation conference.
Developing Leadership in Mathematics Education through a Masters Degree Program. A report on a new masters degree program in mathematics education for K-8 teachers. There are three goals of the program: to increase the mathematical knowledge of the teachers; to increase the teachers' knowledge of current issues in mathematics education; and to develop teacher leaders in mathematics education. The second cohort of students will graduate in the Spring of 2000. In this presentation, I will report on the development and implementation of this interdepartmental program, including descriptions of courses developed for the program, with special emphasis on one course, Leadership Development in Mathematics Education. In addition, the benefits to faculty of participating in a project such as this will be addressed.
"Teaching Mathematics" Course at McMaster University: An Innovative Attempt at Improving Quality of Teaching. "Teaching Mathematics," is a new attempt at improving the quality of instruction delivered by undergraduate teaching assistants. 22 undergraduate students enrolled in the course also worked as teaching assistants for a first-year calculus course. In this presentation I will give background on the project and discuss issues such as improvement of written and oral communications skills; identification of elements that constitute a good teaching practice; introduction to theoretical aspects of teaching; practical experience; and opportunity for constant monitoring of students' work. Aware of the benefits and success of the project, we are thinking of implementing similar mechanisms in other programmes and faculties at McMaster University. Large amount of information on various aspects of the project has been obtained through an independent survey. A project web page provides additional information.
Didactics of Mathematics: The Influencing Factor in Mathematics Teacher Training in Universities. One of the main objectives of teacher training is to determine the balance between theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, mainly knowledge of mathematical concepts and procedures and knowledge of learning/teaching mathematics, beliefs and attitudes towards mathematics and practical skills. When the teacher neglects the development of studentsÍ thinking during the teaching process and concentrates only on the instruction of prescribed knowledge and skills, the result is often nothing but formal knowledge. In mathematics teacher training, we concentrate on the change of student- teacher attitudes towards mathematics. We pay attention to the following issues: "How should didactics of mathematics influence the content and methods of teaching mathematics to future teachers?" and "Should a future mathematics teacher meet, during his/her professional training, non- standard mathematical structures which he/she will never use in school practice?" The ideas will be illustrated by concrete examples from mathematics teacher training at Charles University.
The Development of Mathematics Education of Teachers in Ukraine. In recent years the democratic processes of the Ukrainian educational system have promoted the development of pedagogical creativity. It is important to underscore that the most significant notions of our modern education are technologies, self-directed cognitive activity, and lifelong learning. This direction is oriented towards a creative professor/teacher who uses the new pedagogical thinking for solving the strategic task of forming students' ability for orientation in a vast information field. One of the fundamental principles of this approach is that asking divergent questions of students or having students generate their own questions can help stimulate the enhancement of their conceptual understanding, problem solving abilities, and nature of scientific inquiry. The key aspect of this pedagogy is the context of the conceptual change of teaching and learning strategy in which technology treatment is embedded. The ideas of national character of education and the possibility of world-wide cooperation in the mutual search of the most general problem solving became more popular. For example, our pedagogical theories offer good background for the American strategies that are called "reading and writing for critical thinking."