Spring 2001

Course No.: Math 454

Course Title: Topics in School Mathematics

Prerequisities: Mathematics Core, (122, 221,222, 312, 314, 346); MATH 307, MATH 451

Instructor: Dr. Dovie Kimmins (email:

Office: KOM 226E

Office Hours:  MW 10:15 - 1:15,  Tues & Thurs 2-4     Other hours by appointment

Required Resources: Modern Introductory Analysis by Dolciani et. al, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1964. You will be required to consult resources from the library/curriculum library from time to time such as secondary school math textboooks, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,  journal articles from The Mathematics Teacher.   You will need access to a graphing calculator. Bring it to class each session.

Purpose: NCATE strongly suggests that prospective secondary teachers have the equivalent of a course "considering selected topics from the junior or senior high curriculum taught from an advanced standpoint reflecting the mathematical concepts, generalizations, and applications as they related to the school curriculum." NCTM stresses the importance of students acquiring an awareness of the interrelationship among the various fields of mathematics as well as the relationship of mathematics to other disciplines. This course is designed to serve these purposes, as well as review students for the NTE Math Specialty Area Exam.


Enhance the capabilities of prospective mathematics teachers graduating from MTSU and improve performance on the mathematics specialty portion of the NTE

Examine in greater depth topics to which the student has prior exposure, and emphasize the relevance and implications of these topics to the pre-college level classroom

Extend the investigation of certain mathematical concepts for prospective teachers

Explore the connections between various concepts within mathematics and between mathematics and other subjects

Use technology in mathematical problem solving and application

Enhance pedagogical skills of prospective mathematics teachers with emphasis on teaching pre-calculus and calculus and the use of technology

Activities Required of Students: Attend class, participate in class activities, complete outside of class assignments, write in clear precise language relating pertinent mathematical ideas in a meaningful way, complete tests, make presentations to the class.  


20% Written homework assignments/classroom presentations.  

[Homework Collection Procedure:  Place your homework assignment on the front desk by the beginning of class. Most assignments will consist of problem sets and will be collected the beginning of the next class period. Some of these problem sets will consist of multiple choice questions. However, all necessary work must be shown on the paper to be turned in. No late assignments will be accepted except in the case of a doctor's excuse or approved school trip.  No exceptions!  An assignment is late if it is not on the front desk when class begins.  You are expected to "figure out how to do" the majority of the homework problems before class; if you have difficulty I will be glad to help you!]

60% Three in-class tests, counting 20% each. Each test will be comprehensive. Tests will be based upon homework assignments and material covered in class. Tests will be announced at least one week in advance.  

20% Comprehensive final exam.

Note:  Plus-Minus grading will be used using the following scale.            

A: [88-100]; 

B+: [85, 88), B: [79, 85); B-: [76, 79); 

C+: [73, 76), C: [67, 73); C-: [64, 67); 

D+: [61, 64); D: [55, 61); D- [52, 55);  

F below 52

General Information:

Last day to drop a course without a grade - February 5, 2001

Last day to drop a class with a W - March 5, 2001

These dates will be strictly enforced. If you need to talk with me concerning your progress in this class before this date, do not hesitate to do so.

If you have a disability that may require assistance or accommodation, or if you have questions related to any accommodations for testing, note takers, readers, etc., please speak with me as soon as possible. Students may also contact the Office of Disabled Student Services (898-2783) with questions about such services.

The syllabus may change at the discretion of the instructor.

Attendance policy - Be present! Every classroom activity is targeted toward a specific goal. I have absolutely no sympathy nor tolerance for individuals who miss class or are late to class unnecessarily. No late assignments are accepted except in the case of a doctor's excuse or an approved school trip. Make-ups for tests may be harder than the original.

Do not hesitate to come by the office for help!!!! Try to use scheduled office hours first, but if you cannot come at those times, you can make an appointment for other times.

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