Lessons Learned Concerning a Student Centered Teaching Style by University Mathematics Professors from Secondary School Educators

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Published by Project Innovation, Inc in Education, volume 129 issue 1, 2008. Bryant users may access this article here.

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The following paper discusses the use of student centered teaching techniques in mathematics classes at the secondary level and at the university level. It appears that secondary mathematics teachers are more versatile than university professors in utilizing these teaching techniques in the classroom. This is partially driven by the No Child Left Behind Act. Through a grant with the Department of Education in the State of Rhode Island, two university professors became mentors to a group of high school mathematics teachers. The methodologies used by the high school teachers were eye-opening to the professors. One of the professors, in trying to compare a traditional classroom to one taught with a group methodology at the university level, found results that were not statistically significant. However, the experiment highlighted the fact that many high school teachers do a better job with student centered teaching approaches than university professors do. Although the experiment was done with small sample sizes, the professors learned a great deal from the high school educators, and also learned that student centered teaching methodology involves quite a bit more than teaching in groups.