Mathematics & Statistics Seminars
Northern Arizona University

Teaching Showcase

The Teaching Showcase provides an opportunity for professional development focused on the best practices of teaching. It is our hope that all attendees will learn from the expertise of their colleagues and be in a state of continuous improvement in the classroom as an instructor. These talks will be especially helpful to those new to teaching, providing support and useful ideas for their classrooms. The Teaching Showcase meets 3-4 times each semester.

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics takes pride in the overall quality of instruction and the amount of scholarly teaching that occurs. The department is engaged in a number of student-centered initiatives, which you can read about here.

Schedule for Spring 2015

Note that talks are listed in reverse chronological order.

Encouraging Students to Re-engage with Exam Materials

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 3:00-4:00pm

Speaker: Brandon Cruickshank (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU)

Learning Math - A Student Panel

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 3:00-4:00pm

Speakers: Student panel, moderated by Dana C. Ernst

Abstract: Wouldn’t it be nice to know how students learn math: what they think works and what they think doesn’t? How do students see their math classrooms and what their teachers do to facilitate learning? This is a wonderful opportunity for new teachers as well as veterans to have a chance to hear from students about how they learn math. These students aren’t necessarily math majors - but they DO take our classes and DO care about their learning!

A discussion about inquiry-based learning (part 2)

Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 3:00-4:00pm

Speaker: Dana Ernst

Abstract: In many mathematics classrooms, “doing mathematics” means following the rules dictated by the teacher, and “knowing mathematics” means remembering and applying these rules. However, an inquiry-based-learning (IBL) approach challenges students to create/discover mathematics. Boiled down to its essence, IBL is a method of teaching that engages students in sense-making activities. Rather than showing facts or a clear, smooth path to a solution, the instructor guides students via well-crafted problems through an adventure in mathematical discovery. In this talk, we will address the following questions: What is IBL? Why use IBL? What are some of the challenges of IBL? How can you incorporate more IBL into the classes that you teach? In addition, I will relay my personal experience and discuss how I came to IBL and where I plan to go with it. Time permitting, we will also discuss a few different examples of what an IBL classroom might look like in practice. [Slides]