When teaching a subject like mathematics, integrating faith and learning in the classroom can be a challenge. However, Grand Canyon University faculty Filippo Posta, PhD, and Ben VanDerLinden recently presented their ideas on new approaches to create a positive classroom experience for students at MathFest 2016.
MathFest 2016 was held in Columbus, Ohio. The GCU faculty members presented two talks, titled: “Productive Failure in the Modern College Algebra Classroom” and “Integration of Faith and Learning in the Mathematics Curriculum.”
At GCU, the faculty make it a priority to carry out the university’s mission in all they do. They equip students with the tools to become critical thinkers from the perspective of a Christian worldview. How can this be done in the setting of a mathematics classroom? Dr. Posta and VanDerLinden’s talk, “Integration of Faith and Learning in the Mathematics Curriculum” aims to answer this very question.
According to Dr. Posta, the incorporation of faith and learning needs to be organic and non-trivial. It must be led by faculty who are supported by the university as a whole. At GCU, this is especially important, as students not only come to get educated in a discipline, but also to experience an educational environment founded on Christian principles. In addition, the integration of Christian principles cannot be accomplished by simply attending church on the weekends, but rather, it must be incorporated each day in the classroom.
When it comes to achieving this in today’s classroom, VanDerLinden gives this piece of advice to educators: Be real and use good contextual examples. Simply praying for students can be powerful, and allowing them space to be quiet can be meaningful.
In the end, the main takeaway of this presentation is that whether you are teaching at a religious institution or are religiously active, implementing faith and learning into coursework is an attainable and enriching endeavor that will promote affection in a math course.
At Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, our goal is for you to discover your God-given talents with professional, dedicated and compassionate faculty at your side. To learn more about GCU’s degree programs, visit our website or request more information using the button at the top of the page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.