"Mathematics - the unshaken Foundation of Sciences, and the plentiful Fountain of advantage to human affairs." - Isaac Barrow
The Cuyamaca College Mathematics Department has created a philosophy as a guide in developing curriculum and implementing effective teaching and learning methodologies. This philosophy is an infusion of our individual and collective values and beliefs about our students’ capacity to learn mathematics as well as the nature and purpose of a mathematics education.
Realizing our students are multifaceted and approach the study of mathematics from a broad spectrum of emotions, attitudes, backgrounds, experience and needs, we believe mathematics education should include opportunities for students to engage in active learning. In this student-centered learning environment students are intensely engaged in rich mathematical tasks and have ample opportunities to collaborate with peers. This resource-rich environment promotes productive struggle and risk-taking that develops the mindset to grapple with challenges inside and outside the classroom, helps students achieve higher reasoning gains in understanding and thinking; affective gains in confidence, persistence, and positive attitudes about mathematics; collaborative gains in working with others, seeking help, and appreciating different perspectives.
A mathematics program should be relevant to students’ careers and prepare them for lifelong learning. As a result, we strive to offer programs that inspire, encourage, and challenge students with varying abilities. In order to provide a high-quality program that meets all students’ needs, we believe it is important to continually evaluate and revise our curriculum and teaching methodologies. Additionally, we recognize that mathematics provides fundamental problem-solving skills applicable to liberal arts, the sciences, engineering, and vocational programs. We believe that incorporating technology into the mathematics curriculum allows students to study useful and relevant applications of mathematics from a broad range of disciplines.
As mathematics instructors, we understand the importance and relevance of our responsibilities regarding student success and recognize those responsibilities extend beyond the classroom. Consequently, our math department strives to create a culture of inquiry and creativity while also promoting a collaborative community atmosphere. Ultimately, our intention is to empower students by fostering their critical thinking and communication skills applied towards the understanding of mathematical tools and techniques.