Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Contributing to the Field

One of the many duties of a faculty member at St. Mike's is to "contribute to the field". This basically means that we need to contribute to the wealth of knowledge that informs what we teach and what we profess. There are several ways of doing this. One can write a book, a scholarly article for a professional journal or make a presentation at a regional, national or international conference. Many people have become quite famous over the years through their contributions to the field of education and many of them can be found on the Great Educators website my students helped construct last semester in the introductory Education course I teach. You'll notice that some of the great educators date back several hundred years yet their ideas are still very applicable to the classrooms and schools of today.

I was recently asked to make presentations at two conferences in November. The first is at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome congress where I'll be presenting a paper on teaching math to children with Down Syndrome. The second conference, also in November is the annual ATMNE conference in Rhode Island. This presentation will be all about the power of the referent unit. It's a new and different way of looking at how we teach math to young children so that they develop a better understanding of number and quantity.

I completed my first sessions of meeting with incoming first year students last week. It was a great experience in which I think I was just as nervous as they were. The primary goal of the sessions was to get them signed up for their courses for their first semester at St. Mike's in the Fall. To my great relief they all managed to navigate their way through the electronic registration system and get the courses they wanted.

The picture is of my rather serious-looking son Andrew standing next to an eagle at the VINS exhibition in Quechee, Vt. VINS, the Vermont Institute for Natural Science, is a great resource for both schools and individuals in Vermont.

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