1st Edition

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

By Suzanne Kelton Copyright 2021
    218 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    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.


    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




    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.