PMET: Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers
“There is more intellectual content in school mathematics instruction
than most realize, content that teachers need to understand well.”
“All mathematicians should be concerned about teacher education,
and all have a role to play in the mathematical education of teachers.”
A growing set of national reports calls for better preparation of the nation's mathematics teachers by mathematics faculty. To help meet this need, the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) has a multi-dimensional program: Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers (PMET).
The PMET minicourse at the Allegheny Mountain Section meeting on April 1 at Slippery Rock University is a snapshot of the full-length workshops to be held in the Summer of 2005. In the minicourse, we will examine the PMET philosophy, review a tentative agenda for an elementary and a secondary workshop, experience a sample activity that has been used with preservice teachers, review some pertinent literature, and answer questions about the PMET workshops.
PMET is a program designed to assist faculty who currently train, or are interested in training, both pre- and in-service teachers. The philosophy of the program is guided by the recent CBMS report, The Mathematical Education of Teachers (MET). The central activity of PMET is an extensive series of summer workshops for college and university faculty. During Spring and Summer 2005, PMET will offer eight new workshops for college and university faculty who teach mathematics courses taken by prospective teachers. Each workshop will focus on preparing teachers for elementary, middle, or secondary school mathematics. Participants will observe demonstration classes, providing an opportunity to learn about the mathematical thinking processes of students preparing for careers in teaching. Participants will examine how pre-service teachers learn mathematics, how they make sense of mathematical ideas, and how they integrate their knowledge of mathematics into their thinking about teaching. Participants will also have opportunities to share ideas, discuss and learn more about appropriate content and effective ways of helping pre-service teachers learn mathematics. They will explore specific topics including the use of technology and statistics education in school mathematics.
Summer Workshop activities include:
Ø Connecting college mathematics content to school mathematics;
Ø Demonstration college classes by master teachers;
Ø Discussions of school standards, both state and national;
Ø Course development projects by participants;
Ø Guest lectures by experts, including learning theory researchers;
Ø Discussions of curricular materials and educational reports; and
Ø Use of technology.
With the increased need for mathematics teachers, and the need for well-prepared mathematics teachers, it is clear that the education of prospective teachers is of great importance. Many faculty members are being asked to take on increased responsibilities in this area without substantial background or training in teacher education. The contributions of both mathematicians and mathematics educators are critical if we are to improve the quality and quantity of mathematics teachers in K-12 education. The workshops build on the MET recommendations and other recent reports including the 2001 NRC report, Adding It Up, Liping Ma’s 1999 book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics, the NCTM Standards 2000, and several others.
MET Report Recommendations:
Additional information about PMET and about workshops for Summer 2005 can be found at http://www.maa.org/pmet and in the articles