AWM-MAA Etta Z. Falconer Lecture 2012

Karen King, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Because I Love Mathematics: The Role of Disciplinary Grounding in Mathematics Education

Abstract: Much like my mentor, Etta Falconer, I enjoy mathematics but have devoted a career to ensuring that students of all walks of life have opportunities to learn important mathematics. The role of the discipline of mathematics, mathematicians’ ways of reasoning, and participation in the mathematical community have been a clear part of this work. In this talk, I discuss the recent focus in K-12 mathematics education on the Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and the need for teachers and students to be grounded in the reasoning habits of mathematics to ensure opportunities for future students to learn mathematics at the highest levels. Drawing on research and stories of future high school teachers and current middle and high school students, I discuss the ways in which mathematics as a discipline shapes teachers’ views of teaching and students’ opportunities to learn. I conclude with points mathematicians and mathematics educators should consider in discussing the important role of mathematics in mathematics education.