Copyright © James J. Baker. All rights reserved.
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The Expert Mathematician 

New Tools for Teaching Computer Technology, Mathematics, and Collaborative Problem Solving

What is The Expert Mathematician?

The Expert Mathematician (TEM) Instructional System is an innovative technology-mediated constructivist toolset for teaching critical thinking and mathematics with technology. TEM provides a strong pedagogical framework for developing the middle school mathematics curriculum, making excellent use of computer technology in Standards-based mathematics instruction. TEM is custom designed to promote peer learning and support facilitative teaching. Instructional materials provide 2 or more years of general mathematics, prealgebra and algebra I conceptual and computational content.Research shows that TEM lessons can engage students and increase achievement for mainstream and at-risk students, as well as increase positive attitudes about learning mathematics.

Uses of TEM include:
  1. Stand-alone mathematics foundation building curriculum for at-risk students.
  2. Core dynamic mathematics framework for constructivist problem-based mathematics program.
  3. Technology-math complement to direct instruction curriculum.
  4. After school tutorial.
  5. Stimulating intervention for high potential elementary school students.
Three main goals of The Expert Mathematician are:
  1. Engage students—whether or not they've been previously successful in math—in an affectively positive and successful experience with mathematics at this crucial transitional time prior to high school.
    • fill in gaps in concepts and skills
    • gain confidence in mathematical problem solving
  2. Improve students' critical thinking, problem solving and team collaboration skills. Part of instruction is to assure that students understand how their classroom practice directly aligns with workplace activities.
    • discussion guidelines emphasize specific skills supported by research evidence showing positive outcomes and workplace expectations.
  3. Provide an engaging and sound introduction to computer programming with mathematical technology as experts use it in real work.
The third goal also helps meet a number of educational technology standards for students and teachers as suggested by ISTE, 2007, 2008. Teachers will see these goals come to life in our hands-on instructional format.

A bonus feature of TEM's cooperatively structured prescriptive-generativeTM media is the insights it introduces regarding cognitive and social processes crucial to learning independently and in peer collaboration. Increases on standardized tests can be expected. This is far more than a skill-drill program. TEM is a developmental learning system that honors students' needs for a comprehensive experience generating, editing, operating, annotating, discussing real mathematical products that are student-built on a daily basis using a computer, and learning cooperatively with peers. TEM introduces a learner-centered, dynamic generative learning model to the middle school mathematics curriculum. 196 40-120 minute constructivist lessons include hundreds of interactive computer-mediated problem solving exercises that teach mathematical concepts and develop computational skills. Students of diverse ability levels and learning styles have consistently shown their interest in the TEM program, and have achieved.

All constructivist programs have at least one common feature: in varying measures they shift authority and responsibility for constructing new knowledge to the student. There are cognitive and affective learning benefits from this shift–if the media supports it. Cognitively, students are able to hold instructional content in short-term memory longer when they directly control media. This is crucial to building links between new information and prior knowledge. Teacher-directed pacing, on the other hand, can frustrate students' ability to linger with a concept long enough to grasp it. While core subject matter is prescribed, TEM is designed to give students needed control over working with new concepts. The Expert Mathematician Instructional System is an economical program, customized to give teachers and students unusual leverage in overcoming barriers to learning mathematics. It can enhance any middle school mathematics curriculum. See other links for more information.

Copyright © James J. Baker. All rights reserved.