How Is Mathematics Humanistic, Culturally Rich, Relevant, and Interesting?: Seeking Answers Through the Redesign of an Undergraduate Mathematics Course

How Is Mathematics Humanistic, Culturally Rich, Relevant, and Interesting?: Seeking Answers Through the Redesign of an Undergraduate Mathematics Course

Priya Shilpa Boindala (Georgia Gwinnett College, USA), Ramakrishnan Menon (Georgia Gwinnett College, USA) and Angela Lively (Georgia Gwinnett College, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2791-6.ch009

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the redesign of a traditional History of Mathematics course as an internationalized course and its early implementation. This redesign of the course incorporates significant learning experiences and includes the learning goals of both the college and the discipline. The design of these learning experiences using the backwards design model, the framework based on a blended taxonomy of Bloom and Fink, are elaborated on. How these learning experiences are supported by active learning strategies and forward assessments is also presented. The pilot implementation by an author not involved in the design process provides for an objective perspective of this redesign. The chapter elaborates on the learning experiences within the initial implementation and concludes with ideas for future iterations of the course.
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Introduction

In this chapter, the authors describe the redesign of a STEM course, namely the History of Mathematics course, as part of their institution’s internationalization initiative. They begin with a discussion of relevant literature related to internationalization of curriculum: the assessment of intercultural and global learning outcomes, the emerging paradigm of student-centered learning outcomes as a means to student engagement and achievement and the challenges in teaching and learning mathematics. They describe the theoretical framework used to redesign the course, namely, the Backwards Design model with a blend of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Fink’s model of creating significant learning experiences and elaborate on the various phases of the framework in the context of the History of Mathematics course. The authors further illustrate how the course goals and institutional learning outcomes were used to develop the learning activities for the internationalized course with the goal of making mathematics less static and more humanistic. The human element is emphasized by examining how the study of math was used to solve real world problems, exploring how scholars grappled with academic challenges that were demanding to solve, and finally by exploring the very human qualities of the lives that notable mathematicians lived. The chapter further summarizes the pilot implementation of the internationalized course for the first semester including synopses of student work. It concludes with a reflection upon how the course may evolve, including additional assessment strategies for future implementation.

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