A Madness to Our Methods

How do I learn to teach people to use this stuff?
When I was an undergraduate majoring in mathematics teaching, I got quite a bit of practice teaching, studying curriculum, writing lessons, and other things I'd be expected to do as a teacher. But now, as a PhD candidate in mathematics education, I'm not getting similar training to become a teacher educator. I've done a little teaching of introductory classes for math and science preservice teachers, but that's about it, and I don't think my experience here at CU-Boulder is an exception. Here and elsewhere, how you teach undergrads is still largely something you're supposed to figure out on your own.

It may not be long before I have a job that involves me teaching "methods" courses. I look forward to that opportunity, but dread the feeling that I'd be creating such courses essentially from scratch. It's happened to a few colleagues of mine, and it seems a bit silly that we folks in curriculum and instruction don't have more organization and purposeful, shared design in our curriculum and instruction for preservice teacher methods courses.

Here at CU-Boulder we have a math and science seminar that meets about every three weeks and the topics of the seminar change year to year. This year, pushed by myself and a few others, some of us (including @jybuell) are studying the design of methods courses in math and science. As a first step, we're looking at what others are doing elsewhere, and here's where I'd like some help. Do you have a syllabus or story to share about methods classes you've taught or taken? If you send those my way (to raymond@mathed.net) or comment about them in the comments, I'll continue to write about what I find and learn as the year progresses, and hope to have methods course lesson plans and scope and sequence documents to share by the end of the year.

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