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News from Baylor School of Education

SOE Hosts Mathematics Education Conference [10/2/2014]


AMTETxLogoBaylor’s School of Education sponsored the second annual Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators in Texas Conference on Sept. 26-27, with meetings all day Saturday in the Marrs McLean Science Building. Dr. Trena Wilkerson, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Graduate Program Director, and Dr. Sandi Cooper, Professor and Coordinator of Mathematics Education Program — along with other members of the Steering Committee of AMTE-TX — hosted the two-day event which showcased presentations by nationally recognized mathematics educators.

The conference featured speakers from across the country and state to share insight about ‘preparation and professional development’ for K-12 math teachers. More than 45 members came from across Texas to share and catch up with each other’s teaching methods.

AMTE-TXphoto2.jpgWilkerson said, “One of the exciting things about the conference is it brought together math educators who are classroom teachers, as well as those at two- and four-year institutions. We looked at our teacher education programs —what is the mathematical content that should be taught? What kind of pre-service training should we have in schools?”

Cooper said, “This year we also wanted to focus on how to best use technology in the classroom – trying to take a step forward.”

The conference became an example of classroom technology when three speakers from other locations were projected on a screen and could take live questions and interact with the attendees. The “virtual panel” comprised Dr. Jenny Bay-Williams of the University of Louisville, Dr. Kristin Umland of the University of New Mexico and Dr. Randy Phillip of San Diego State University.  Wilkerson and Cooper thought it was a fun and fitting element of the conference.

Dr. Debra Junk, Coordinator for Mathematics Initiatives in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin, gave a presentation in person about the state vision of mathematics in Texas.

“Junk spoke about effective methods courses, degree plans and creative assignments used in the classroom,” Cooper said.

AMTE-TXphoto1.jpgDuring the day, members also broke into smaller groups to discuss differing degree plans, development agendas, curriculum and the use video technology to help better teach mathematics in classrooms.

To highlight Waco and the Baylor community, the Steering Committee, planned a reception at the Dr Pepper Museum on Friday evening before the conference on Saturday.

AMTE-TX has a goal to be the primary association where state policy makers can turn if they want to get ideas on how create and implement new mathematics programs.

“We want to be seen as the go-to group for state education,” Cooper said.

Wilkerson said, “We want to be a voice for math education in our state. I see us collaborating with both teachers and researchers in the future.”

Both Cooper and Wilkerson are past presidents of AMTE-TX, which was founded in 2008. —Kate McGuire

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