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LEADING MATHEMATICS EDUCATOR AND RESEARCHER TO SPEAK AT BARD COLLEGE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 20 Master of Arts in Teaching Program Welcomes Rutgers University Professor Carolyn Maher, an Expert in the Study of Mathematical Thinking in Students

Darren O'Sullivan
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program is hosting a lecture on Thursday, April 20, by Carolyn Maher, a professor at Rutgers University and a leading researcher on the development of mathematical thinking in students. Her talk, “Insights into the Development of Mathematical Reasoning: What We’ve Learned from an 18-Year Study,” is free and open to the public; it takes place at 4:30 p.m. in room 115 of the Olin Language Center on the Bard College campus. It is sponsored by the MAT Program Speaker Series and a grant from the Mathematical Association of America. In an unprecedented long-term study of human learning, Maher and her research team examined the development of mathematical thinking in a randomly selected group of students for 18 years—from first grade through their early university years—and found that children formulate extraordinarily interesting and complex mathematical ideas, even at a young age. Private Universe in Mathematics, a six-hour video series produced by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, profiles Maher’s research. Her talk at Bard will focus on this research, and she will show video footage from the study to illustrate student reasoning over the years. As the participants reflect on their learning over time, their responses reveal how particular conditions were important to the students in doing meaningful mathematics and how the benefits carry over to their later study and work life. Maher is professor of mathematics education in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University and director of the Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning. The Davis Institute has a successful history of long-term commitments to education reform initiatives and works closely with schools and districts, K-12, in central New Jersey. Maher's longitudinal research, now in its twelfth year, focuses on the development of children's mathematical thinking and development of proof. She has given presentations and led workshops for groups of teachers, math educators, and administrators throughout the United States, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Mozambique, Japan, and China. Maher is also the editor of the Journal of Mathematical Behavior and director of the Regional Center at Rutgers University for the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative. Bard’s Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program, which takes a year for students to complete, was established in 2003 to address critical issues in the training of teachers of grades 7–12. The program emphasizes subject-matter mastery for teachers, integrated clinical training, and the ability of new teachers to advance and implement innovative teaching methods in the classroom. Many secondary school teachers in the United States do not hold an undergraduate degree in the subject they teach, and rarely in the course of their training are prospective teachers asked to integrate subject matter and pedagogy courses in a clinically meaningful way, or to research and practice new approaches to teaching. The MAT Program builds on Bard’s long history of innovation in education, from its Institute for Writing and Thinking teacher-training programs to the groundbreaking Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) in New York City. The core of Bard’s yearlong MAT Program is an integrated curriculum leading to a master of arts degree and teaching certificate in adolescent education in one of four subject areas: English, mathematics, biology, or history. In future years the program will be expanded to include certification in other fields, including art, physics, chemistry, foreign languages, and music. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in liberal arts with a major in the elective discipline. Bard MAT students are required to complete four graduate level courses in their elective discipline, while taking education courses that challenge them to apply the results of research and pedagogical analysis to classroom teaching. In each phase of their MAT experience, students must pursue a research question that engages them in the kind of reflective practice that is essential to teaching effectively and growing professionally. Linked to advanced study in their field, the education curriculum helps MAT students to consider how they learn, and how alternative approaches to teaching and learning provide broader access to academic competence. Throughout the 12-month program, all courses are closely integrated with teaching experiences, beginning in the summer as tutors, followed by extensive field experience. Bard has partnerships with mentor teachers in local public school districts, including Red Hook, Chatham, Onteora, Poughkeepsie, and Kingston, as well as six Autonomous Zone schools—a group of experimental public middle and high schools in New York City. Unique to this program, the MAT mentor teachers in the public schools are active partners for school change, engaging in their own classroom research as part of their sustained involvement with the MAT Program. Through a grant from The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation, the MAT Program offers full fellowships to select students who are committed to working in New York City public high schools. The Petrie fellowships are part of the MAT Program’s research and training partnerships with New York City public schools. Petrie fellows must commit to work in New York City public high schools for five years after graduating from the MAT Program. In addition, the program offers fellowships to returning Peace Corps volunteers. For more information on the lecture, please call Cecilia Maple at 845-758-7145 or e-mail Prospective applicants should contact Ric Campbell at 845-758-7145 or for information and application materials. Visit the Bard College MAT Program website at # # # (4/05/06)


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This event was last updated on 04-21-2006