For all the attention that mathematics education receives nationally in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine where the front lines are in the battle to help more young people succeed. Beyond the classrooms themselves another is in higher education, where teaching strategies are refined and improved in the search to find more effective pedagogical methods. The department of mathematics is home to one of the leading thinkers on the subject, whose efforts have recently been recognized by the Association of Women in Mathematics Award:
Sybilla Beckmann, a 2011 Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, will receive the award in a January 2014 ceremony. The honor recognizes outstanding achievements in any area of mathematics education.
"Math can be approached in such a different way than is typical in math teaching and learning," Beckmann said. "I would love for everyone to appreciate how beautiful and neat mathematical reasoning is. Mathematical ideas can be as exquisite and profound as any of the great achievements in music, literature, or art.
"My special passion is for teacher education because it matters how teachers approach math and it matters that teachers know the math they will teach deeply, and from a teaching perspective."
As the release says, Beckmann's textbook, "Mathematics for Elementary Teachers," is now a standard text for teachers in training. Discovering better ways to 'teach the teachers' is among the more extraordinary efforts of our faculty, efforts than can impact innumerable students, careers and lives. Congratulations to Beckmann on this recognition and our thanks for her efforts to make a difference in mathematics education.
Image: UGA photographic services.