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Products for grant AQ-51099-14

NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Aims and Value of Education
Gizem Karaali, Pomona College

Grant details:

What if ... math were not required in K-12 education? (Article)
Title: What if ... math were not required in K-12 education?
Author: Gizem Karaali
Abstract: Math teacher Paul Lockhart writes in A Mathematician’s Lament that the current state of mathematics education is analogous to a nightmare. Math in K-12 is taught out of context, without regard to intellectual need and curiosity, and in a uniformly linear fashion. School math often leaves out the cool stuff, the fun stuff, the naturally interesting and absolutely fascinating parts, and focuses almost exclusively on what can be tested. Students are “assessed” regularly and classified into those who can and those who cannot do math. Various entities whose existential purposes have nothing to do with the education of the nation’s future generations pontificate recklessly about how best math teachers should perform their craft. And so we get students who arrive at college with no idea what math really is about...
Year: 2015
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: What if ...
Format: Magazine
Periodical Title: Pomona College Magazine
Publisher: Pomona College

On Grades and Instructor Identity: How Formative Assessment Saved me from a Midlife Crisis (Article)
Title: On Grades and Instructor Identity: How Formative Assessment Saved me from a Midlife Crisis
Author: Gizem Karaali
Abstract: In recent years, I have cultivated an almost pathological resistance to grading. Here I explore the reasons why and describe how I eventually recovered. In particular, I propose that although grading, or more explicitly, effective assessment of student learning, is a challenging component of a mathematics instructor’s job description, reflective use of formative assessment can substantially relieve the pressure, as it allows the instructor to focus on what matters most: student learning and growth. To this end, I describe my experiences with formative assessment in a diverse selection of courses (ranging from calculus to introduction to proofs to mathematics for liberal arts). I conclude that formative assessment can help an instructor move toward a more intentional pedagogical stance, and a more constructive professional identity.
Year: 2018
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: The web page for the online version of the article.
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: PRIMUS (Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Math Education: A Messy Problem (Article)
Title: Math Education: A Messy Problem
Abstract: "The current state of math education in America is certainly not ideal, writes Gizem Karaali, but mathematicians, researchers, policy makers and others are working on it -- and it is definitely a problem worth working on."
Year: 2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Online article.
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Reprint in Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics Newsletter, May 2016.
Format: Other
Periodical Title: Inside HigherEd
Publisher: Inside HigherEd