Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Courses for Middle School Teachers Available at TCNJ

For the past five years, the College of New Jersey has offered courses for middle school teachers as another initiative of the TQE-R Grant. The graduate level math courses are currently held at Fisher Middle School in Ewing, NJ and are taught by Dr. Cathy Liebars, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the College.

Originally, the College held courses like this through an older grant as a response to the No Child Left Behind Act. It was only for Ewing districts and the purpose was to produce more highly qualified teachers.

Now, through the TQE-R Grant, teachers from all over New Jersey are welcome to attend. While the purpose is still to make more highly qualified teachers, Dr. Liebars said she has found that teachers also take these courses to gain a deeper understanding of the mathematical principles that they teach. In turn, they can modify their curricula to give their students a better understanding of these concepts.

There are six courses taught by Dr. Liebars: Number Theory and Systems; Data Analysis and Probability; Patterns, Functions and Algebra; Geometry; Discrete Math; and Calculus. They are all intended for middle school teachers who wish to focus specifically on middle school curricula as they explore math and technology. They also learn how to better engage their students in the material through different strategies and methods.

Dr. Liebars will be teaching Discrete Math in the fall. Typically she only teaches one course per semester. The classes meet once a week for 2 1/2 hours. If interested, Dr. Liebars can be contacted via telephone or email for more information.

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