Professional Development Introductory Programs

About the Program

The Mathematics Department at the University of Michigan has made a commitment to making these introductory courses a vital part of our undergraduate students' education. We have changed both the content of the courses and the ways we teach them by drawing ideas simultaneously from calculus reform nationwide and from the cooperative learning movement. Our texts, with their fresh approach to calculus, give us the opportunity to strengthen students' grasp of the underlying concepts. Students are taught to read the textbook and write full essay answers to many of the interesting problems. In our classes students work together actively, and outside the class they meet frequently to solve their team homework problems.

Curriculum 

  • The syllabus stresses the underlying concepts and incorporates challenging real-world problems.
  • The textbook emphasizes the need to understand problems numerically, graphically, and through English descriptions as well as by the traditional algebraic approach.
  • Graphing calculators are used throughout the introductory courses.

Instruction centered around interactive learning and student responsibility 

  • The classroom environment uses interactive learning and promotes experimentation by students.
  • A portion of each student's grade is based on solutions to interesting problems submitted jointly by teams of four students. Instructors grade the team's homework themselves.

Restructured testing program 

Major exams can focus on concepts and critical thinking because there is a set of repeatable tests devoted exclusively to routine manipulative skills.

Comprehensive faculty & graduate student instructor development program 

The fall term begins with an intensive training week followed by weekly teaching meetings and periodic classroom observations with feedback. Teachers have access to a set of fully developed classroom activities.

We have included some materials that you may find useful in learning more about our program's professional development schedule

Key Features of the Introductory Courses +

  • Syllabus
    The syllabus stresses the underlying concepts and incorporates challenging real-world problems.
  • Textbook
    The textbook emphasizes the need to understand problems numerically, graphically, and through English descriptions as well as by the traditional algebraic approach.
  • Classroom atmosphere
    The classroom environment uses cooperative learning and promotes experimentation by students.
  • Team homework assignments
    A portion of each student's grade is based on solutions to interesting problems submitted jointly by a team of four students.
  • Graphing calculator technology
    TI-83's (or above) are used throughout the introductory courses.
  • Student responsibility
    Students are required to read the textbook, discuss the problems with other students, and write full essay answers.
  • Restructured testing program
    Major exams can focus on concepts and critical thinking because there is a set of repeatable tests devoted to routine manipulative skills.