The SoTL Advocate

Supporting efforts to make public the reflection and study of teaching and learning at Illinois State University and beyond…

SoTL Book Information: ISU Faculty Authors

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The announcement below is a press release from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) that has just published a book on SoTL in Mathematics in higher education. This book could serve as a model for such books in other disciplines. In addition, chapter 17 was written by ISU faculty members in our department of Mathematics: Chapter 17. Mathematics Research Experiences for Preservice Teachers: Investigating the Impact on Their Beliefs by Wendy A. O¹Hanlon, David D. Barker, Cynthia W. Langrall, John A.Dossey, Sharon M. McCrone, and Saad I. El-Zanati. Another book focusing on SoTL in a particular discipline is also a model and one author is also an ISU faculty member (Jennifer Friberg): Ginsberg, S., Friberg, J., & Visconti, C. 2012. Scholarship of Teaching and learning in speech-language and audiology: Evidence-based education. San Diego: Plural Publishing. It is great to see ISU faculty take leadership roles in promoting SoTL in their disciplines.

A new book from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) serves as a how-to guide for collegiate mathematics faculty who want to know more about conducting scholarly investigations into their teaching and their students’ learning. Out this month as part of the MAA’s Notes series, Doing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Mathematics aims to both assist mathematics faculty interested in undertaking scholarly study of their teaching practice and promote a greater understanding of this work and its value to the mathematics community. The volume was envisioned and edited by Jacqueline Dewar and Curtis Bennett (Loyola Marymount University).

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) movement encourages faculty to view difficulties encountered in the classroom as invitations to conduct research. In this growing field of inquiry, faculty bring their disciplinary knowledge and teaching experience to bear on questions of teaching and learning. They systematically gather evidence to develop and support their conclusions. The results are peer reviewed and made public.
The four chapters in Part I of Doing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Mathematics provide background on this form of scholarship and specific instructions for undertaking a SoTL investigation in mathematics. Part II contains 15 examples of SoTL projects in mathematics from 14 different institutions, both public and private, spanning the spectrum of higher educational institutions from community colleges to research universities. The final chapter offers the editors’ synthesis of the contributing authors’ perceptions of the value of SoTL.

“Dewar and Bennett’s volume gives a vivid overview of the fresh field of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,” says Frank Farris (Santa Clara University). “It provides exactly what you need to get started doing research with your own classroom as the laboratory.”
(
Dewar, J., & Bennett, C. (Eds.). 2015. Doing the scholarship of teaching and learning in mathematics. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.)

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