random fractal 2016 MichMATYC Fall Conference
Friday & Saturday, October 14 & 15, 2016
Delta College

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- mesa -

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Presenter(s): Vilma Mesa
Time: 4:00pm Room: East Concourse (lower level)
Title: Investigations in Instruction and Teaching in Undergraduate Mathematics
Abstract: In this presentation I will summarize the work I have conducted on instruction and teaching of mathematics at community colleges and other post-secondary institutions, work that has sought to characterize the nature of instruction and to understand the work of teaching.
My research on instruction at community colleges reveals a pattern of interaction between students and instructors that can be called "interactive lecture". In this pattern, the instructor presents the topics, examples, and problems. The students' role is to ask questions to clarify content. Students rarely discuss ideas among themselves and the questions they tend to answer emphasize low cognitive demand processes. This interaction pattern can be described through the norms that govern the didactical contract that for the predominant instructional situation of presenting content via examples (Mesa & Herbst, 2011) and continues to be upheld thanks to instructors' responses to their professional obligations (Celis & Mesa, 2016; Lande & Mesa, 2016)
My research on teaching of mathematics using inquiry-based learning (IBL) reveals markedly different patterns of interaction, with different roles for teachers and students, who interact collectively around the worksheets that students solve with other students during class. The differences in how teaching is conducted, generate conflicting situations for instructors (Mesa & Cawley, 2016). Research studies suggest that this type of teaching is beneficial and thus suggest interesting areas for faculty development.
Investigations on Instruction and Teaching
Biographical: Vilma Mesa is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Michigan. She investigates the role that resources play in developing teaching expertise in undergraduate mathematics, specifically at community colleges and in inquiry-based learning classrooms. She has conducted several analyses of instruction and of textbooks and collaborated in evaluation projects on the impact of innovative mathematics teaching practices for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She served as associate editor for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education from 2000-2004 and is currently serving as associate editor for Educational Studies in Mathematics. She has a B.S. in computer sciences and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and a master's and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Georgia.