At the end of my last semester in university one of my professors offered me a job as her research assistant. It has been an awesome opportunity and really interesting work! She is a math professor and also teaches in the liberal education. I took a class from her called "Problems and Puzzles" that was designed to teach basic problem solving skills that could be applied across all disciplines. My professor uses the class each year as a focus group for her research and gave me the job of organizing all the data she collected from different surveys and reflections through out the course.
The job was really interesting, especially after completing my math education minor. Alberta Education recently clanged the math curriculum to focus on the development of critical thinking skills. While discussing how to teach problem solving skills with my professor I was able to reflect on the new math curriculum and how I have taught using it in the past. I think that this experience will allow me to develop a more well-rounded perspective when teaching problem solving in the future; not only in math but in any subject area I teach.
I also got to teach some problem solving workshops and camps for junior high and high school kids at the university. It was so fun because I basically got to give them a bunch of logic puzzles and watch or help them solve them. I was so cool to see the different ways people approached each of the puzzles and all the different ways to get the answers. I thought I would share one of the puzzles with you guys....
MATCH THE PERSON WITH THEIR JOB...
People: Brittany, Susie, and Judy.
Jobs: Biologist, Engineer, Programmer
1. Brittant and Susie play soccer together.
2. Susie knows Judy well.
3. The biologist likes rock music; the engineer likes folk music;
and the computer programmer likes country.
4. The biologist and the engineer have never met.
5. Judy hates folk music.