MC wraps up Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (EMT) program

Marietta College officials agree the recently completed inaugural Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (EMT) program was a huge success as close to 60 teachers from grades kindergarten to seven wrapped up the 10 days of classes.

The program, intended to help reduce math anxiety and increase math knowledge, was developed by a team led by Dr. Laura J. Little, Instructional Technologist and Director of the Title III Grant at MC.

Evelyn Bryant, lecturer of education, Kathleen Finley, adjunct professor and teacher in Marietta City School system, and Elaine O'Rourke, instructor and director of field and clinical experience, taught the classes. Dr. Dave Mader, professor of computer science, Dr. Matt Menzel, assistant professor mathematics, and Dr. John Tynan, assistant professor mathematics and director of institutional research, provided lunchtime programming.

"As this is the first year of the program, there are always little bumps to work out," Little said. "However, the teachers and participants were terrific and I have gotten some positive feedback from them as well."

The program works with area principals and superintendents to recruit teachers from the region, as a way to strengthen ties between the College and Washington County schools and provide a valuable continuing education experience close to home. There were 57 teachers from 21 different public and private schools including: Marietta St. Mary's School, Lowell Elementary, Washington Elementary, Harmar Elementary, Putnam Elementary, Belpre Elementary and Newport Elementary to name a few.

"My favorite aspect of the program was the openness and the amount of good ideas I have to take back to the classroom," said Rebecca Johnson, of Warren Elementary. "The program exceeded all of my expectations by far."

Participants learned how to teach mathematics using inquiry methods, which are teaching and modeling children how to think and figure out mathematical concepts on their own, instead of just memorizing a bunch of rules out of the text.

"By the conclusion of the program the teachers should have an increased collegiality with their colleagues at other schools, that way they can have access to all of the best ideas across Washington County," Little said.

The participants will also meet on the Marietta College campus for two days in the fall so they can continue to work with these new methods after having taught them in their home classrooms.