Approved by Faculty Senate


University Studies Course Approval Proposal

Oral Communication Flag

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics proposes the following course for inclusion in the University Studies, Oral Communication Flag at Winona State University. The full department at the Thursday, January 18, 2001 department meeting approved this action.

Course: Teaching Mathematics in the Secondary School II (MTED 420), 4 s.h.

Catalog Description: This course is an extension of MTED 320 with emphasis on appropriate uses of technology, teaching strategies, assessment, learning theory related to mathematics and research on current issues in mathematics education. This is a University Studies course satisfying requirements for the Oral Communication Flag. Prerequisite: MTED 320. Offered fall semester.

This is an existing course, which was previously approved by A2C2.

Department Contact Person for this course:

Terry M. Price, Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics Department

Email: tprice@winona.edu

General Discussion of University Studies – Oral Communication Flag with respect to MTED 420:

University Studies: Oral Communication Flag

The purpose of the Oral Communication Flag requirement is to complete the process of providing graduates of Winona State University with the knowledge and experience required to enable them to become highly competent communicators by the time they graduate.

Courses can merit the Oral Communication Flag by demonstrating that they allow for clear guidance, criteria, and feedback for the speaking assignments; that the course requires a significant amount of speaking; that speaking assignments comprise a significant portion of the course grade; and that students will have opportunities to obtain student and faculty critiques of their speaking.

These courses must include requirements and learning activities that promote students’ abilities to…

a. earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentations

Course Objective 1 is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to "use multiple teaching and learning strategies to enhance critical thinking, problem solving, student responsibility" (4H, Standards for Effective Practice). A significant portion of the student’s course credit is based on their teaching of mathematical concepts and the required conference presentation (as discussed in part d below).

Each student will create a series of short lesson plans, which incorporate different teaching tool and teaching strategy. In small group format, students will deliver their topic of the day. Once they receive peer feedback from the members of the group, one lesson is chosen for "presentation" to the whole class. A general discussion of the resulting presentation provides another layer of instructor and peer input.

b. understand the features and types of speaking in their disciplines

Attainment of Course Objective 6 means that students must understand factors contributing to successful verbal communication in the field of mathematics. Assigned readings, whole-class discussion and the required Practicum component provides the opportunity for the student to use oral communication between the teacher and students, among students, between the teacher and the community in an effort to develop and extend students’ mathematical understanding.

Based on these findings, students produce a mathematical unit in a specified topic area. They create original lesson plans using the "Task Analysis" skills developed in MTED 320. Each lesson will be constructed so as to target different components of Course Objectives 1, 2, and 4-7. In addition to the Suggested Outline, each lesson is to identify appropriate Minnesota Graduation Standard(s) and/or the NCTM standard(s) relevant to the lesson as well as including a grading rubric for the assigned work.

c. adapt their speaking to field-specific audiences

In addition to the required conference presentation and in-class presentation of lessons, students are required to "plan mathematical tasks and/or activities for students who are culturally diverse, those with limited English proficiency and those with special needs, and use instructional strategies in mathematics that include accommodation of different learning styles" (Course Objective 5). This experience provides the student with the time to consider and adjust to factors outside of mathematics that might influence the successful communication of the mathematical content.

d. receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for improvement

Course Objective 9 requires that students "participate in state and/or national conferences in mathematics education, mathematics, statistics, and/or technology". A significant portion of the course is dedicated to successful completion of this objective. Students are required to submit a Speaker Proposal for participation at the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics Fall Conference, usually held in October.

There are several layers of feedback available to the student during this process. During the construction phase of the talk, students have continual input from the instructor of the course. Prior to presentation at the conference, students also have the opportunity to present to MTED 421 students as well as faculty at Winona State. Attendee’s comments are collected, processed and if changes are warranted they are incorporated into the presentation. Finally students receive feedback from inservice teachers and other professionals attending the presentation.


e. make use of technologies used for research and speaking in the fields

Course Objective 2 provides the opportunity for students to "use educational technology to deliver instruction and stimulate learning" and "use a variety of media communication tools" (4L and 6K, respectively, of Standards for Effective Practice). Students will use the "spot-journal" of mathematical topics constructed in MTED 320. From these, they will create and present a variety of short-range plans extending the pedagogical considerations to include student needs revealed through the assigned readings, class activity, and their Practicum experience. Peer- and self-assessment assignments will constitute a substantial portion of the evaluation of this activity.

f. learn conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields

Whole-class discussion of the assigned readings provides the student with the opportunity to understand what is needed to "apply knowledge of current research and national, state and local guidelines relating to mathematics instruction" (Course Objective 8). Through assigned readings, the conference experience and required practicum students will be able to "use professional literature, colleagues, other resources to support own development as a learner and teacher" (9I, Standards for Effective Practice).

From an application perspective students have the opportunity to "monitor their own teaching strategies and behaviors in relation to student success" (8K, Standards for Effective Practice), through email problem-solving activities with 5-12 students as well as feedback to presentations of mathematical lessons provides