Asbury math students shine at KCTM Conference

Published 11:34 am Thursday, September 26, 2019

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From staff reports

Through Asbury University’s emphasis on experiential learning, students have the opportunity to gain real-word exposure and get a picture of what life will look like outside of college.

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On Sept. 7, Asbury’s Math Department provided twelve pre-education math students with the opportunity to attend the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics (KCTM). The conference gave them special insight into their field as well as unique professional development opportunities as they prepare to become the next generation of educators.

For the past six years, Asbury has participated in KCTM, and students and faculty are often invited to present their research as a part of the conference. The university has even played a major role in the organization of the annual event, with Asbury’s own Dr. Cheryll Crowe Johnson serving on the KCTM board for four years as vice-president of the college division.

“The highlight for me each year is seeing pre-service teachers experience professional development alongside current practicing teachers,” Johnson said.

During this year’s conference, Johnson was honored for completing her service of two terms on the board of directors, and Asbury students were recognized during the Mathematics Education Service and Achievement (MESA) banquet as emerging teacher leaders.

Julia Stapleton, attended the conference with her classmates this year. She said she got connected with the conference during her very first semester at Asbury. The conference, she said, helped her realize that math can be connected to everyday life.

“It may not be what we expect it to be, but it connects cohesively,” Stapleton said. “Growing up, math was always looked at as math. I know that sounds silly, but the teachers who taught me made it seem like math was math to them as well. The KCTM conference shows that much needed passion in the classroom.”

Stapleton says this conference also helped her learn new and inventive ways to teach math to students who may not connect with it through traditional methods.

“Math is hands down, the most challenging for the majority of students,” Stapleton said. “They need extra help, more attention in it and more manipulatives (hands-on activities), but most of all they need a teacher willing to outstep the boundaries of standard teaching and creatively facilitate math lessons. KCTM tries to show us new approaches to math that can encourage us teachers to rejuvenate our pedagogy.”

But KCTM is not the only place pre-education students gain professional experience. In the spring semester, the math education majors host a K-12 math night to help out local students.

According to Johnson, KCTM and the math Night help to provide chances for Asbury students to gain real-world practice and experience what they learn about in the classroom.