Classroom Community

The first week of class is critical for a course like this. Many students may be skeptical about ever enjoying a mathematics course. For some their attitude toward mathematics may be deeply negative. Some may not be willing to apply themselves beyond the level needed to get a passing grade; some may be apprehensive about the course content or the writing requirement.

For the best outcome, our expectations and attitudes toward the course need to be reset during the first week. By creating a  classroom community,
where learning is shared and students are accountable to one another, we believe that the instructor can help craft a course which is more enjoyable for everyone. This is the work of the first week. Continue reading “Classroom Community”

Introduction to Writing Assignments

The Mathematics for Sustainability textbook supports a course that has been taught at Penn State for several years.  A very significant component of the course as taught has been the requirement that students develop extended pieces of writing which use the mathematical skills developed in the course in support of advocacy or analysis of specific sustainability-related proposals. See the introduction to the Case Studies section (7.1) for more detail about this. Continue reading “Introduction to Writing Assignments”