Robin Gottlieb (Department of Mathematics)
Freshman Seminar 40P 4 credits (fall term) Enrollment: Limited to 12
Note: This seminar has no prerequisites. An invitation is extended to all students whether or not they are thinking about studying mathematics.
What are the goals of mathematics education at the middle and high school level, and how do these goals impact our evaluation of the success or failure of math education in America? Why does math education at these levels matter? What societal structures (historic, economic, political, cultural) impact mathematics education? How does math education in turn impact societal structures? We will also investigate differences in math education across different venues, both in the U.S. and internationally. As the world changes, how do the goals of mathematics education change, and in what ways? Readings in preparation for weekly discussions will include a combination of newspaper articles, articles by experts in the field and findings of large-scale national and international studies. This will help us make sense of the debate in the press, inside the mathematics and math education communities, and amongst policymakers about the state of mathematics education and what should be done about it. All students are expected to be active participants in seminar discussions. In pairs or small clusters, students will take ownership of class discussions.