Changing Pedagogies in Math and Science Education

Lecture Series, Thursdays 7-8:30pm,

Rm. 338 in Park Sciences Building, Bryn Mawr College


For directions and map of college area click here. The Lecture Series is associated with the course Education 220: Changing Pedagogies in Math and Science Education.

  1. Thursday, January 22, 2004. Dr. Paul Grobstein, Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Science in Society, Bryn Mawr College.

Title: Education as Applied Neurobiology: Student and Teacher as Story Listener/Teller

Education, it will be argued, is applied neurobiology, the task of using brains to change brains. From this perspective, understandings of the brain should yield insights useful in a pedagogical context. Current understandings imply that the brain is not a passive receiver of information but rather an active seeker of information, from which it constructs models and "stories" that it in turn tests by further active seeking of information. Moreover, the brain does so simultaneously in at least two modes, unconscious and conscious that use different information processing strategies. These in general yield somewhat different models/stories which itself motivates further testing. The implications of these understandings for designing and implementing effective teaching environments and practices will be discussed.

Web link ot Grobstein's presentation.


  1. Thursday, January 29, 2004. Dr. Jerry Gollub, Professor of Physics, Haverford College and Co-chair of the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Programs for Advanced Science and Math Secondary Education.

Title: Learning and Understanding: implications for Math and Science Education.

Dr. Jerry Gollub will outline a set of research based principles on how to further learning with understanding and discuss how these principles can be applied to instruction, curriculum design and assessment. In a 2002 report, his NRC Committee used these principles to evaluate the AP and IB programs in mathematics and science.

Pdf file of Gollub's presentation.

  1. Thursday, February 5, 2004.

Title: Mathematics and Science Literacy: what is it and how to achieve it.

A discussion with Marlene Hilkowitz, Program Manager, School District of Philadelphia, and Victor Donnay, Professor of Mathematics, Bryn Mawr College.

 What should someone know about mathematics and science to be a literate person in the 21st century? Why is such literacy important? Marlene Hilkowitz will discuss Project 2061, a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that spells out a long term vision of scientific literacy. Victor Donnay will talk about quantitative literacy and the "math across the curriculum" movement.

 Pdf file of Hillowitz's presentation, Concept Map (1MB file); Donnay's pdf file.

  1. Thursday, February 12, 2004.

Title: Mathematics and Science Reform at the Elementary School Level.

A panel discussion with Donna Cleland (Science) and Conrad Follmer (Mathematics) former teachers, now educational consultants, who help school districts reform their elementary level science and math programs. They will discuss some of these reform efforts which include the FOSS and STC Science Kits and the Everyday Math Program.


  1. Thursday, February 19, 2004.

Title: Mathematics and Science Reform at the Secondary School Level.

A panel discussion with: Reggie Keller, former Mathematics Supervisor of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, Deborah Pomeroy, Associate Professor Science and Jean Wallace, Director of Education, Delaware Valley Earth Force.


  1.  Thursday, February 26, 2004.

Title: Mathematics and Science Reform at the Collegiate Level.

A panel discussion with Dr. Rick Moog, Chemistry Department, Franklin and Marshall College, and Dr. Rob Manning, Mathematics Department, Haverford College. Dr. Moog (presentation as pdf file) will discuss Guided Inquiry as an alternative to the lecture format in teaching General Chemistry and Dr. Manning (presentation as pdf file )will discuss the Harvard Reform Calculus Project.


  1.   Thursday, March 4, 2004

Title: Community Voices in Math and Science Reform.

A panel discussion with Tom Rogers (pdf presentation), former Vice President of the Haverford School Board and lawyer at White and Williams, Roy Eisenhandler (pdf presentation), a member of the Springfield Township PTA (Curriculum Committee) and scientist at Merck, and Chuck Kunesh (pdf presentation) of the Lehigh Valley Business Education Partnership and former scientist at Pfeiser.. These speakers, representing the business community, parents and the school board will discuss why, from their perspectives, improving math and science education is important and their role in the process.


Thursay, March 11, 2004:

No Lecture: Spring break


  1. Thursday, March 18, 2004

Title: No Child Left Behind, State Standards and Standardized Tests

In this talk, Frank Marburger from the Pennslyvania Department of Education (PDE) will briefly lay out the implications for mathematics and science education arising out of the No Child Left Behind legislation. He will specifically address how Pennsylvania is utilizing standards and testing to achieve its goals. He will briefly outline the on-going work with the math testing program as well as the development work that is progressing on the science test. He will also have participants do an activity that helps them understand how the standards and testing actually support PDE's strong commitment to inquiry-based instruction.

Pdf file of the presentation.


  1. Thursday, March 25, 2004

Title: Teaching for Equity: Issues of Race, Class and Gender

 A panel discussion with Deborah Pomeroy, Associate Professor of Science Education at Arcadia University, Diana Dismus-Campbell, who has worked with NACME's Vanguard Scholarship Program (The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering ) and the EDGE Program (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education ), and Katherine McCleland (pdf file of presentation), Associate Professor of Sociology at Franklin and Marshall College.


  1. Thursday, April 1, 2004

Title: Change Theory: Tensions, supports, sociological and psychological

Fran Pollock, Director of Counseling Services at Arcadia Univeristy, will be talking about change theory. Why is change hard and how can change be supported? The presentation will include activities that bring out the challenges associated with change.


  1. Thursday, April 8, 2004

Title: Implementation of Change at the Teacher Level

Three Bryn Mawr faculty, Kim Cassidy, Dept. of Psychology, Victor Donnay, Dept. of Mathematics, Michelle Francl, Dept. of Chemistry, will share their experiences around changing the way they teach. All three facutly members have worked to include more inquiry based, active learning experiences in their courses

  1. Thursday, April 15, 2004

Title: Systemic Change

Andrea Zeises, Elementary School Math and Science Coordinator for the Haverford School District, and Ned Wolff, former Co-Director of the Greater Philadelphia Secondary Mathmatics Project, will discuss their experiences in bringing about system wide change in math and sciene education.


  1. Thursday, April 22, 2004

Title: Change from the TeacherÝs Perspective

A panel discussion with teachers who have hosted students from the Praxis course in their classrooms. The teachers (Lizzie Gallagher, Haverford  SD elementary science,  Roger Demos, Haverford SD high school physics,  Donna Dougherty, Wallingford-Swarthmore high school math).

  1. Thursday, April 29, 2004

Title: Understanding Understanding with Eleanor Duckworth.

Noted educator Dr. Eleanor Duckworth, Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will give the capstone lecture for the semester. She will discuss issues of understanding a learnerÝs understanding and the implications of this for teaching.

A former student and translator of Jean Piaget, Eleanor Duckworth grounds her work in Piaget's theories of the nature and development of intelligence. Her main interest is in teaching and the experience of teachers and learners of all ages both in and out of schools. Duckworth is a former elementary school teacher and has worked in curriculum development, teacher education, and program evaluation in the United States, Switzerland, Africa, and her native Canada.  Her Ph.D. is from Universit╚ de Gen╦ve  Recent publications include:  "Tell Me More": Listening to Learners Explain (2001); Teacher to Teacher: Learning from Each Other (1997); "The Having of Wonderful Ideas" and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning, second edition (1996).