CAA approves new math courses

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs approved new math courses and a revised course at its meeting Thursday.

The courses they voted on revising were Mathematics 2420G Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II, and Mathematics 3400 Teaching Secondary Mathematics and the new courses were Mathematics 2620 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers III, and Mathematics 2400 Introduction to Teaching Secondary Mathematics.

Marshall Lassak, the department chair of mathematics, spoke about the changes being made to the course.

He said Mathematics 2420G and 2620, a new course the CAA voted on, are a package deal.

“The state issued new requirements for mathematics for the elementary licensure and the forthcoming middle licensure, and part of those requirements is a more in-depth study of statistics and some focus on how that relates to teaching,” Lassak said.

The 2420 class currently spends about four weeks on probability and statistics, which is not enough to address the Illinois learning standards and state requirements.

“We removed that content from 2420 and enhanced it with an additional focus on transformational geometry,” Lassak said.

Greg Aydt, from the academic advising center, had a question on the title of the course.

“2040 is called Math for Elementary Teachers II which I know is what it’s been called previously,” Aydt said. “And then 2620 is Math for Elementary Teachers III which kind of implies that there’s a sequence there, like one two and three, but actually you can take two or three, either one, as long as you’ve taken that first class which is the prerequisite.”

Aydt asked if that was a concern or if there was a possibility that the math department would want to change the name of the class to reflect the specific content.

“Mathematics for elementary teachers II focuses on geometry, mathematics for elementary teachers III focuses on statistics,” he said. “I don’t know if that would be a possibility or not, it’s obviously your call.”

Lassak said 2040 would be left alone because that was what it was called everywhere and they wanted the name to be consistent.

“I don’t disagree with you on 2420, but that was not the consensus of our department,” Lassak said. “Statistics for elementary teachers to me would make more sense.”

He said he agreed the name could cause confusion, but the consensus of the department was that it was a minor concern but that if it proves to be a major concern, they may change it three or four years down the line.

“After you complete math for elementary teachers I you can take one or both of these,” Lassak said.

The CAA unanimously approved Mathematics 2420G.

“The reason this course is being put out is the department of secondary education has implemented a number of changes for various reasons,” Lassak said. “One of these changes is they want students to have a methods course prior to the practicum experience.”

He said the current methods course is not set up to come that early in the sequence and they came up with a new one-credit course.

“We’re not trying to increase credit hours, but it does increase contact hours because there are labs to each of these,” Lassak said.

The CAA also voted unanimously to approve the new course Mathematics 2400 and to revise Mathematics 3400.

The changes to Mathematics 3400 Teaching Secondary Mathematics were meant to reduce the credit hours by one, but not reduce the contact hours.

“The cost for students should remain the same between taking this course and the other one,” Lassak said.

Two items were added to the agenda to be voted on next week, both being the creation of a new course Anthropology 3610 Language and Culture, and the other being Psychology 3518 Psychology of Language Development.

Action was taken to change the course descriptions on several psychology courses.

The CAA will meet next at 2 p.m. Thursday in Booth Library.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]