College Math Teaching

February 2, 2015

The challenge of teaching undergraduate topology

Filed under: pedagogy, topology — Tags: — collegemathteaching @ 10:44 pm

I mentioned that I’d be teaching undergraduate topology for the first time ever. Yes, I’ve taught “proof required” courses before: on two separate occasions between 1991 and now. But in each case, I taught a senior level abstract algebra course in which every student came in having taken a course that required proof.

Technically speaking, this course doesn’t require a previous “proof” course.

Then there is how long I’ve been doing this; my first published paper appeared in 1991 (I did the work in 1989). That was well before any student in my class was born!!!

So, this process is going to be a bit like a native language speaker trying to teach someone else a new language.

This means: I’ll have to slow down; this book I’ve chosen won’t be too easy after all. 🙂 I am going to have to back way off of the pace. After all, I am teaching both the material AND proof writing.


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