GSE Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, Curriculum and Teaching, Philip Dituri, PhD, is a sought-after lecturer and guest speaker for his work in developing mathematics courses dealing with financial literacy for high school students. Three of his recent engagements include the following.
Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (VCTM) Conference
Dituri served as a key presenter at the spring meeting of the Virginia chapter of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The meeting theme, “Moving Mountains with Mathematics,” included his session titled, “How Much Should I Save for Retirement?”, which explored why learning how to use spreadsheets and save for retirement can be the basis for a rewarding high school mathematics lesson. As an example, learning about spreadsheet software provides a fresh approach to teaching functions, variables, and geometric series by using them to plan retirement savings, mortgage payments, and student loan repayments.
More specifically, Dituri explained that this approach reveals a tangible application for recursive and explicit formulae for students and provides a clear format for breaking down complex functions into their simpler, smaller components. The workshop used activities from the FiCycle curriculum, which gave participants a taste of what a mathematics-based high school financial literacy course might look like.
Math for America (MFA) Meeting
In his three-session “Making Group Work the Norm” workshop at the spring Math for America meeting, Dituri presented routines, structures, rules, and strategies for running a mathematics classroom in which students primarily work in groups. In a traditional classroom, students may stop and work in groups from time to time. This workshop focused on flipping that status quo to run a classroom in which group work is the norm, with students sometimes stopping and working individually.
Dituri noted the pros and cons of such an approach and how that may affect the culture of a classroom. He also reviewed the common misconceptions regarding group work, ways to ensure student accountability, and various models for group exams.
Mathematics Lesson Study in NYC
In a spring lesson study at Cristo Rey New York High School, Assistant Professor Philip Dituri, students in Fordham’s Adolescent Mathematics Education program, and a team of outside observers participated in the third lesson study conducted by the GSE’s Mathematics Education Department.
Lesson study is a process in which teachers work collaboratively to examine and address issues around teaching practices. As a team, Fordham students selected educational goals and a research question to pursue, created a detailed lesson plan, and executed the lesson plan. On the day the lesson was taught, a team of outside professionals came to observe and then participated in a post-observation meeting in which all parties involved met to discuss the lesson and propose revisions. The aim is to then execute the new lesson with revisions and ultimately generate a final report of findings related to meeting the educational goals.