Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Bumgardner, Chair of Mathematics at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – Morganton (invited by Adalira Saenz-Ludlow)
Title: Active Learning and What It Entails: From Curriculum, to Intellectual Environment, to Physical Environment
Abstract: Educators often discuss the importance of active learning in the classroom to deepen students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and help students take ownership of their own learning. Active learning tasks such as think-pair-share, reading for comprehension, chunked problem analysis, and muddiest point are readily offered as possible activities for instructors interested in implementing active learning within their own classroom. Why do some instructors succeed in implementing such tasks while others struggle? What factors contribute to the success of active learning in a mathematics classroom? In this colloquium talk, we will discuss the role of curriculum design in a successful active learning classroom and the importance of a curriculum focused on making conceptual connections and establishing habits of thinking. We will look at the process of preparing and aligning tasks that allow for hypothesizing, time for thinking, active engagement with content, and reflection. In addition, we will consider the intellectual environment and the physical environment conducive to active learning.