AMATYC is just around the corner, and we can’t wait for that educational, fun-filled conference! Before we head out for the special event, we wanted to let you know that our friend and national expert in assessing math learning problems and developing solutions, Dr. Paul Nolting, interviewed AMATYC President Jane Tanner on his blog, http://www.academicsuccessblog.com/.
Dr. Nolting assesses math learning problems, develops effective student-learning strategies, and assesses institutional variables that affect math success and math study skills. Over the last 25 years, he has consulted with over 100 colleges, universities, and high schools campuses to improve success in the math classroom. He is the author of Winning at Math, which is the only math-specific study skills book to offer statistical evidence demonstrating an improvement in students’ ability to learn math and make better grades.
In his interview, Dr. Nolting asks the AMATYC president questions that strike a chord with all developmental math instructors today. He touches on key topics and starts out by asking Professor Tanner how she sees the current state of developmental mathematics at the national level. Professor Tanner replied:
My opinion is that it is in a state of flux. That is my opinion, not necessarily that of AMATYC or anyone else. A lot of colleges out there know we need to change what is currently being done, because the current success rate in developmental mathematics is not very great for students. These schools know something needs to be done—these are the forward thinkers that are willing to try new things and take risks. There are others out there who want to continue to do the same old things, because that is what they are used to, and they are not as willing to take risks. My opinion is that you need to be willing to try something different. You need to keep in mind what is best for your school and students, not what is easiest for you…
Later in the interview, Dr. Nolting asked, “How do you think institutions should go about choosing a new design, or, for that matter, what should institutions do if they are torn between different designs? How do we avoid chaos as pride and conviction inevitably seep into this process?”
Below is an excerpt of Professor Tanner’s response:
You need to research what is out there. You can visit other schools that are using a certain method that might work for you, or attend the AMATYC and NADE conferences where there are other people going through things that you may be going through. There are a lot of different models out there, all in addition to the pathways focus. What needs to be done is that you spend enough time investigating so that you choose the best thing for your college—but you can’t necessarily take forever to do it, because then you aren’t accomplishing anything either.
Interested in learning more about math study skills? Check out the webinar from Dr. Nolting and Hawkes’s own Emily Judy for tips and resources.
Nolting, Paul. “Dr. Nolting Interviews Jane Tanner, president of AMATYC: Part One.” Academic Success Blog, www.academicsuccessblog.com/blog/interview-with-jane-tanner-president-of-amatyc-part-one. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.