Information Age Education Blog
Detailed Syllabus for a Grades 1-8 Teacher Education Course on Math Maturity
Last spring I taught a distance education graduate course titled “Increasing the Math Maturity of K-8 Students and Their Teachers.” The course was sponsored by the PrISM Oregon (Preparation for Instruction of Science & Math) project funded by FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education).
Recently I "cleaned up" the detailed syllabus for that course, checked all of the links, and added an Appendix as a non-required supplemental reading. The syllabus is available at http://i-a-e.org/downloads/doc_download/201-extended-syllabus-for-prism-course.html.
Math Maturity Course Content
The Math Maturity course is designed for inservice teachers and for preservice teachers who have easy access to students. Most of the assignments include developing and implementing ideas for students. The course draws heavily on materials that I (Dave Moursund) have written and make available free on the Web. Additional materials come from free videos that are available on the Web.
This is a 3-credit (quarter hour system) or 2-credit (semester hour system) graduate course. It assumes only a modest level of math knowledge. Here are the lesson titles:
#1: Introduction and getting started.
#2: Learner maturity in math and other academic disciplines.
#3: Personal electronic digital filing cabinets.
#4: Nature and nurture aspects of brain science.
#5: Math problem solving across the curriculum.
#6: Math word problems.
#7: Communication in math.
#8: Good math lesson plans.
#9: Math project and problem-based learning.
Note added 10/15/2012: This revised Appendix is now the second chapter of a book that Bob Albrecht and I wrote:
Moursund, D., & Albrecht, R. (2010). Using math games and word problems to increase the math maturity of K-8 Students. Chapter 2: Introduction to math maturity. Eugene, OR: Information Age Education.
The book is available for free download at http://i-a-e.org/downloads/doc_download/211-using-math-games-and-word-problems-to-increase-the-math-maturity-of-k-8-students.html.
What You Can Do
The Math Maturity course described above is designed for self-study. Spend some time browsing the detailed syllabus to determine whether any of the content fits your needs.
I particularly recommend that, if you have not already done so, you start your own personal Digital Filing Cabinet. Develop a habit of adding to it from time to time and sharing your materials with others.
The IAE Blog entries tend to have a relatively long "shelf life." However, over time, the references tend to get out of date. You can help your fellow readers and IAE by adding a Comment that includes an up-to-date reference and its URL. Your Comment should include a couple of sentences summarizing the up-to date-information and ideas.
Suggested Readings from IAE and Other Publications
You can use Google to search all of the IAE publications. Click here to begin. Then click in the IAE Search box that is provided, insert your search terms, and click on the Search button.
Click here to search the entire collection of IAE Blog entries.
Here are some examples of publications that might interest you. As of 10/15/2012 all of the links were up to date.
A serious problem situation with math word problems. See http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/a-serious-problem-situation-with-math-word-problems.html.
Being "Proficient" with 50 percent correct answers: Math competence and math maturity. See http://i-a-e.org/newsletters/IAE-Newsletter-2009-23.html.
Good math lesson plans. See http://iae-pedia.org/Good_Math_Lesson_Plans.
Home and school environment—and games—in the math education of kids. See http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/home-and-school-environmentand-gamesin-the-math-educati0n-of-kids.html.
Math maturity short workshop. See http://iae-pedia.org/Math_Maturity_Short_Workshop.
Moursund, D. (2007). Computational thinking and math maturity: Improving math education in K-8 schools. Eugene, OR: Information Age Education. Access at http://i-a-e.org/downloads/doc_download/3-computational-thinking-and-math-maturity-improving-math-education-in-k-8-schools.html.
Teaching kids real math with computers (17-minute TED video). See http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/teaching-kids-real-math-with-computers-17-minute-ted-video.html.
The math brain: Keith Devlin’s chapter in the book “Mind, brain, and Eeducation.” See http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/the-math-brain-keith-devlins-chapter-in-the-book-mind-brain-and-education.html.
Written by Dave Moursund, September 14, 2010.
This course was developed using the graduate school criterion that such a course should require three hours of work outside of class for each hour in class. Since a distance leaning course has no class meetings, this means that the overall course (two semester hours or three quarter hours) should require approximately 120 hours of a student's time and effort.
Very roughly speaking graduate education and continuing education for inservice teachers tends to fall into three categories:
1. High quality graduate work meeting the time requirements listed above, and with considerable rigor in the course.
2. Professional development courses with less rigorous time and learning requirements. Often such courses require about two hours outside of class for each hour in class. A one-credit course of this sort often gets its needed number of class meting hours via two successive days of classes, or by an evening and the next day of classes. In such a structure, there is little time for homework or for reflection between class hours of meeting.
3. Continuing education units (CEU). For example, a workshop may have (approximately) 10 hours or 15 hours of class meeting time (over two successive days) and no other requirements. Ten hours is one CEU in the quarter hours system and 15 hours is one CEU in the semester hours system.
There has been a lot of research on the design and implementation of effective staff development for inservice teachers. A book that I wrote a long time ago that focuses on inservice for teachers of computers in education is available free at http://i-a-e.org/downloads/doc...culum.html