Department of Mathematics Colloquium

University of Idaho

Fall 2012

Thursday,  September 13, 3:30-4:20 pm, room TLC 149

Refreshments in Brink 305 at 3:00 pm

Guided Reinvention: From the Laboratory to the Classroom


Craig Swinyard

Department of Mathematics

University of Portland


Both intuitive and formal aspects of limit concepts have proven difficult for undergraduate students in lower-division mathematics and introductory proof courses.  Guided reinvention offers students a promising approach for making sense of these complex, foundational ideas. This talk will include the story of Megan and Belinda, neither of whom had seen formal limit definitions previously and yet were able to construct formal definitions of sequence convergence, series convergence, and pointwise convergence during a guided reinvention teaching experiment. We will also discuss efforts taken to scale guided reinvention to the classroom level - is guided reinvention possible in an Advanced Calculus class? What complicating factors arise in the classroom that aren't present in the laboratory?