Good teachers make a difference - especially when learning conceptual topics such as mathematics. And good teachers are always eager to learn the best practices for reaching their students — which is where Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Lew Ludwig comes in.
Ludwig is part of a pilot group that is charged with creating a new set of Instructional Practices (IP) to accompany the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) 2015 Curriculum Guide to Majors.
While not outwardly a glamorous item, the IP guide will make a big difference in mathematics classrooms and to the next generation of STEM professionals across the nation.
One measure of its importance — the guide is funded by the National Science Foundation.
"The IP guide will be grounded in evidence, drawing on research literature related to specific subjects," said Ludwig. "For example, there is a significant literature base around how students learn concepts (such as function) that transcend a single course, as well as how students learn concepts generally taught in only one course (such as the concept of groups."
The guide won't be a one-size-fits-all resource.
"The IP guide will attest to the fact that faculty teach in diverse settings, with varying available technology, and that class sizes may vary drastically across these settings," he added.
Ludwig and his team will work on the guide over a period of two years.