I serve as President of the Research Council on Mathematics Learning (RCML). RCML is a national organization of university-level professors and graduate students who are interested in writing and discussing research on how to best meet the needs of learners in math classrooms around the country.
In late February, we hosted our annual conference on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Among the attendees was Dr. William Speer who is an Emeritus Professor from BGSU and taught me in my methods course nearly 40 years ago. Also among the attendees were Davis Gerber, Alyssa Lustgarten, and Rachel Wiemken - three graduates of the ACTION program who are now in graduate school. Rachel
||Dr. Speer, Alyssa & Rachel with Dr. Brahier
graduated from BGSU in 2016, taught high school mathematics for a year,
and then retur
ned to BGSU for her
advanced degree. In one room, we had three generations of
BGSU mathematics teachers, making Davis,
Alyssa, and Rachel "grand-students" of Dr. Speer!
The thought occurred to me as to just how rich of a tradition of teacher education we have at BGSU. For generations, we have produced some of the best teachers in the State of Ohio. One of our BGSU graduates - Kim Yoak - went on to serve as the youngest President in the long history of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is now their Executive Director. And while the ACTION program is still fairly young, with all of our graduates having taught five years or fewer, we are already seeing individuals assuming leadership positions in their school districts and in professional organizations.
One of the many goals of ACTION is to develop science and mathematics teachers who are focused on improving their practice. For that reason, we require all of our scholars to learn to conduct "action research," which is classroom research on how students are learning so that teaching practices can be improved. I personally did not learn this skill until I was in graduate school, so ACTION scholars are learning to engage in activities ordinarily reserved for graduate students. At the RCML conference, two of my colleagues (Dr. Jonathan Bosic and Dr. Gabriel Matney) who have mentored some of our seniors in their action research Capstone Projects presented a session with me in which we shared with professors around the country about the successes we are seeing in the ACTION program.
We could not be more proud of our ACTION scholars - current and alumni - and look forward to seeing them continue to grow and emerge as leaders in years to come. Meanwhile, we are making preparations to welcome our new Cohort 10 this summer as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the ACTION program!