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Mathematical Modeling
as a Vehicle for PD

Explore a lesson used to engage Learning Assistants in a conversation about goal-directed learning and scaffolding

The Lesson

Each semester the Center for STEM Excellence at EKU holds a professional development workshop for undergraduate student partners who will be working as peer mentors, tutors, or learning assistants (LAs) in various STEM learning centers on campus. The lesson below was developed to highlight and provide ideas for implementation of goal-directed learning and scaffolding. Rather than extolling the virtues of these pedagogical tools, we created a lesson that would actively engage the student partners by using a mathematical modeling task that provided a low-floor, high-ceiling problem that students from any major could participate in. During this activity returning LAs acted as facilitators for each table of student partners. In preparation, these facilitators participated in their own PD session where the Coordinator, Rachel Maggard, acted as the facilitator and the LAs acted as the participants.

Peer Facilitators' Experience

While developing this lesson plan, we noted that this would be a unique opportunity to gain insights into the preparation of LAs and how their views on mathematical modeling and teaching and learning of mathematics might change as they prepare for and enact this lesson. View our poster presented at EKU's 2024 Pedagogicon to explore some of our findings for the four LAs who fully participated in our study.

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