I had the opportunity way back in 1992 & 1993 to receive valuable experience in the classroom as a teacher assistant in the MS2 (Math & Science for Minority Students) Summer program.
This program recruits minority students nation-wide to take challenging high level classes on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. I had the honor to work with Mthomba Bon Amari (formerly known as Anthony Scott). Before he taught any content, he made sure that the students knew the following 8 properties of mathematics.
1. Order – Example… PEMDAS, or even the steps in solving an equation
2. Rigor – Math stands on its own and is different that any other discipline
3. Logical development from simple to complex – The natural progression of difficulty math presents
4. Elegance – the beauty of math such as the symmetry of a butterfly, or the Mandelbrot set in fractals
5. Economy – Saves space; Usage of exponents, scientific notation, math symbols, etc.
6. Exactness – In math, there is only one answer; many paths, but only one destination
7. Abstractness – The concept of numbers not connecting to concrete objects
8. Universality – The answer for 3 x4 is same in the US and Cambodia
If you have the opportunity, please share any comments or share the following information with your students!