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Communication: Research and Teaching Intertwined

Part of my applied research in collegiate mathematics education has been on the use of curricular extensions to foster conceptual engagement with mathematics: projects, small group/seminar presentations by students to students, reflective writing [Hauk, 2005; Hauk & Davis, 2001], transactional writing about mathematics problem-solving [Hauk & Isom, 2004] and problem-posing [Tsay & Hauk, 2006]. In addition to exercising the life skills of effective communication and shared effort, the appropriate choice of extension provides the opportunity for culturally situated reflection on self and on mathematics. Thinking about their past experiences and themselves as learners provides an opportunity for the undergraduate and graduate students I work with to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate the usefulness of their habits of mind [Schoenfeld, 2000]. Individuals whose sources of conviction and validation include themselves (an internal locus of control) are more flexible thinkers and better at effectively acting on their knowledge [Mason & Spence, 1999; Szydlik, 2000]. The forms of critical thinking that inform my teaching at all levels are the fundamental ``life skills'' for which universities are maintained.


Shandy Hauk 2007-01-18