To increase the participation and retention of all students in mathematics and mathematics-related disciplines and to provide all students with a meaningful mathematics education, ongoing faculty development is necessary. Colleges should support all of their mathematics faculty as they grow, improve, learn, and implement new instructional ideas.
The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) recommends that every college actively support the professional development of its mathematics faculty necessary for the improvement of instruction and students' educational experiences. To facilitate this, colleges should provide mathematics faculty with:
- reassigned/release time for research and study;
- compensation for expenses associated with participation in workshops, conferences, and college courses;
- compensation or reassigned/release time for the development of curriculum and innovative approaches to instruction; and
- sabbatical or professional leave.
Over the past years, AMATYC produced and, in September 1995, published a set of standards for undergraduate mathematics before calculus entitled Crossroads in Mathematics. Realizing that mathematics education is at a critical turning point, AMATYC made recommendations and provided examples of ways to change and to improve mathematics education and instruction. Other documents such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (1991) also indicated a need for change and improvement in mathematics instruction.
These documents advocate major modifications in both mathematical content and pedagogy, involving:
- curriculum revision to concentrate on fewer topics, each of which would be covered in greater depth;
- technology both as a tool and as an instructional medium;
- group learning;
- student projects requiring sustained effort; and
- laboratory experiences involving mathematics.
Colleges should recognize that the time and effort needed to implement many of these changes are in excess of the normal professional development that all teaching positions already entail, and colleges should support their faculty accordingly as changes are implemented.
Faculty Development Committee
Adopted November 1998