# Sybilla Beckmann

## Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics, University of Georgia

*Sybilla Beckmann*

** **

**Date**: Monday, May 12, 2014**Time**: 4:10 PM**Place**: Procrastinator Theater, Strand Union Building

A reception will precede the talk in 2-244 Wilson Hall

**Title**: Building a Community of All Math Teachers and Professionalizing

Math Teaching at All Levels

**Sponsoring department**: Mathematical Sciences

Summary:

How do we enact a vision of mathematics teaching in which

mathematical reasoning and sense-making play a central role? How do we make mathematics
teaching a strong and vibrant profession? In this presentation Dr. Beckmann will argue
that widespread improvement in mathematics teaching and learning requires a community
of mathematics teachers, from Pre-kindergarten through the college level, who discuss
their work in depth, build on each other’s ideas, and work towards a shared view of
excellent mathematics teaching. Further, she will argue that opportunities to gain
peer recognition and high standing within the community are more likely to be important
drivers of excellence in mathematics teaching than are external measures of assessment
or oversight. So to professionalize mathematics teaching, we should find ways to communicate
across all levels of our discipline, and ways to vet and extend each other’s work,
as in the sciences.

## About the speaker:

Sybilla Beckmann is the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics
at the University of Georgia. She has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of
Pennsylvania and taught at Yale University as a J. W. Gibbs Instructor of Mathematics.
Beckmann has done research in Arithmetic Geometry, but her current main interests
are the mathematical education of teachers and mathematics content for students at
all levels, but especially for Pre-kindergarten through Grade 8. Beckmann developed
several mathematics content courses for prospective elementary school teachers at
the University of Georgia and wrote a book for such courses, *Mathematics for Elementary Teachers*, published by Pearson Education, now in a fourth edition. She is interested in helping
college faculty learn to teach mathematics content courses for elementary and middle
grades teachers and she works with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows toward
that end. Beckmann has participated in a number of national initiatives in mathematics
education, including as a member of the writing teams of NCTM’s* Curriculum Focal Points for Pre-kindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics* and the *Common Core State Standards for Mathematics*. Several years ago Beckmann taught an average 6th grade mathematics class every day
at a local public school in order to better understand school mathematics teaching.
Beckmann has won a number of awards, including the 2014 Louise Hay Award of the Association
for Women in Mathematics.