1. Purposes of the Course
This course is a required course in the Bachelor of Education (kindergarten and elementary) program. It is the first course in a two-course sequence designed to help you learn to teach mathematics. One primary goal of this course is to deepen your knowledge of mathematics necessary for teaching (specifically in the domain of arithmetic). The course features an investigative approach to mathematics with opportunities to explore the conceptual underpinnings of mathematical ideas typically encountered in elementary education (K-6). You will have opportunities to engage with mathematics in ways that may be very different from your previous experiences with the subject. It is our hope that these experiences will deepen your own mathematical understanding while providing insight into how children tend to learn big mathematical ideas over time: what strategies they typically use, what they find challenging, and why.
A second primary goal of this course is to develop your competency in specific teaching practices that are likely to support students to develop enduring understandings of mathematics as well as productive dispositions toward mathematics. In this course, we will specifically focus on setting and maintaining expectations for students’ participation, and anticipating, eliciting, representing, analyzing, and building upon student thinking. You will engage in at least one cycle of enactment and investigation, in which you will practice implementing an instructional activity focused on the practices listed above in front of your course instructor and peers, receive feedback, revise your instruction, implement and video-record the same activity with “students” outside of class time, and analyze your performance. We will also analyze artifacts (video and written cases) of teaching, focusing on the role of mathematical tasks, tools, and the teacher in developing students’ mathematical proficiency.