A Beginner's Guide to Teaching Mathematics in the Undergraduate Classroom  book cover
1st Edition

A Beginner's Guide to Teaching Mathematics in the Undergraduate Classroom

ISBN 9780367429027
Published November 30, 2020 by Routledge
218 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This practical, engaging book explores the fundamentals of pedagogy and the unique challenges of teaching undergraduate mathematics not commonly addressed in most education literature.

Professor and mathematician, Suzanne Kelton offers a straightforward framework for new faculty and graduate students to establish their individual preferences for course policy and content exposition, while alerting them to potential pitfalls. The book discusses the running of day-to-day class meetings and offers specific strategies to improve learning and retention, as well as concrete examples and effective tools for class discussion that draw from a variety of commonly taught undergraduate mathematics courses. Kelton also offers readers a structured approach to evaluating and honing their own teaching skills, as well as utilizing peer and student evaluations.

Offering an engaging and clearly written approach designed specifically for mathematicians, A Beginner’s Guide to Teaching Mathematics in the Undergraduate Classroom offers an artful introduction to teaching undergraduate mathematics in universities and community colleges. This text will be useful for new instructors, faculty, and graduate teaching assistants alike.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Course Overview

A Note on Terminology

Determining Desired Learning Outcomes


Determining A Beginning Classroom Strategy

Backward Design

Quick Glance: Terminology Overview

Chapter 2: Course Policies, Philosophies, and Syllabi

Course policies


Chapter 3: The Basics of the Classroom

The First Day of Class

Preparing for Class

During Class and Office Hours

After Class

Chapter 4: Assessment

Fostering Academic Honesty with Assessment



Preparing Students to Take an Exam

Writing an Exam

The Exam Was Too Long!

Grading an Exam

Addressing Instances of Academic Dishonesty

Course Grades

Chapter 5: Challenges and Opportunities within Commonly Taught Courses

Discussion Sections

Algebra – Is It Too Late?!


Calculus I: Differential Calculus

Calculus II: Integral Calculus

Sophomore Calculus

Elementary Linear Algebra

Proof Courses

Upper-level Courses

Chapter 6: Growth Through Evaluation and Education


Peer Evaluations and Collaborations

Student Evaluations

Pedagogical Professional Development

Chapter 7: Going Beyond Traditional Lecture

Preparing to Try Something New

Active Learning

Course Designs for Active Learning

Online Courses

A Final Note on Innovation



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Suzanne Kelton is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Assumption University in Worcester, MA. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Virginia and has taught mathematics to learners across a range of universities and colleges.