An Exemplary Program in the Mathematical Preparation of Prospective Elementary Teachers

Our overarching philosophy is that...

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
- Albert Einstein
The following elements are what make ours an exceptional program:
Those who can, do.
Those who understand, teach.
- Lee Shulman
Tell me, and I forget;
Show me, and I remember;
Involve me, and I understand.
- Ancient Chinese Saying
Students develop an understanding of concepts, not just an ability to use algorithms. Students participate in a mathematical community which requires that they clearly communicate mathematical ideas and work together to model concepts.
They know enough who know how to learn.
- Henry Adams 1838-1918
How do I know what I think until I see what I say.
- E.M. Forster
Instructors establish a safe environment in which students become independent learners. Written communication is an integral part of the course.

Austin Community College has a long history of involvement with the mathematical preparation of prospective elementary teachers; dating back to at least 1977, four years after the college was established. Our six-semester-hour, two-course sequence has always transferred to the University of Texas at Austin because instructors at both insitutions were aware of each others' activities. This association was strengthened when, in 1994, the current vision, philosophy, and structure of the our two-course sequence was developed in collaboration with university personnel. Mary Hannigan and Tracy Rusch received funding from the Charles A. Dana Center to develop a content course that would better serve prospective elementary teachers. This curriculum effort was shared with other interested instructors from both institutions during all stages of development. Vera Preston was one of the earliest advocates of this new structure, as it complimented her personal veision, and added her expertise to subsequent revisions. Support for this new vision of preparing teachers continued to increase among ACC faculty and is now accepted college-wide.

Click on the title or the book cover to download a copy of the Guidelines in pdf format (421K); download Acrobat Reader from Adobe.
Mary Hannigan's interest in the mathematical preparation of elementary teachers led to her involvement with the Texas Statewide Systemic Initiative's (Texas SSI) Action Team on Strengthening the Mathematics Preparation of Elementary Teachers. As one of only two community college faculty on this Action Team (also supported by the Foundation for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education), she was involved with writing the Guidelines for the Mathematical Preparation of Prospective Elementary Teachers as well as other activities of this Action Team.

Featured Activities

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Attribute Cards Glyphs
Going to Infinity Seminole Patchwork
Xmania Samples of Student Writing

What is this all about?
The letter that got us invited!
The preliminary version of our paper.
Special thanks

©1998 Mary Hannigan & Vera Preston
Austin Community College