As AMTE restructures, it seemed appropriate to reflect back on the important role that affiliates have played in mathematics teacher education. The first official AMTE affiliate was chartered in 2003 by the Illinois Mathematics Teacher Educators (IMTE). However, as you will find below, many groups with similar visions existed in various states at that time, without official affiliation. Our most recent affiliates: Wisconsin Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (WI-AMTE), Virginia Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (VA-AMTE), and Kentucky Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (KAMTE) were officially recognized as affiliates at our 2017 Annual Conference. Currently there are 24 active affiliates.
Originally the AMTE Executive Director managed the needs of affiliates. However, Nadine Bezuk recognized the need for someone to focus on affiliate communications and concerns. An Affiliate Director position was established to support the growing number of affiliates, and Sandi Cooper was the first Affiliates Director, followed by Megan Burton. Affiliate Directors took the lead in gaining renewal information and dues, obtaining newsletter articles from affiliates, bringing Affiliate Connection Committee needs to the board, managing the Affiliate Breakfast at the Annual Conference, and providing support to those interested in forming affiliates. Both Affiliates Directors had support from the Affiliates Connection Committee (ACC) Members who worked to survey affiliate needs, led sessions for affiliate members at the annual conferences, updated the website, and led webinars as part of their support to affiliates.
With the restructuring in 2017, affiliates now fall under the Membership Division of AMTE, led by Maggie McGatha. The Associate Vice-President of Affiliates is Tom Evitts. Affiliates are now divided into regions which include the West, Midwest, Southeast 1, Southeast 2, and Northeast. Tom chairs the Affiliates Connection Committee, which is composed of members who serve as regional representatives for affiliates. They maintain regular communication with our affiliate leaders, ask affiliates what ACC can do to support them, help identify affiliate strengths and needs, and communicate with regions about newsletter and renewal dates. The Affiliate webpage is now housed under the Membership Division Tab. It not only offers information to affiliates, it also contains a map with links to pages that share information about each affiliate. Each affiliate is responsible for updating its information on these pages when it completes the renewal forms.
Below are some stories and histories shared by various AMTE Affiliates. Affiliate members were asked to share histories, memories, or about the impact their affiliate has had in their work. Very little guidance was given to contributors, so they would share what they felt was important. These stories show the variety that make up our affiliates. Some organizations existed before AMTE was formed, but saw the importance of being affiliated with the national organization once it was formed. Other groups have only formed in the last few years. Each story shares a bit about the region, the affiliate, and mathematics education. Thank you to all contributors for taking time to share. We invite other affiliate members to submit their own stories for our next newsletter.
By Christy Graybeal, Founding President
The idea of creating a Maryland affiliate to AMTE had been floating around for several years when, in 2009, I was motivated to take the lead on this. I had accepted a position as the only mathematics teacher educator at a small, liberal arts college in Maryland and I missed the camaraderie of graduate school. I wanted to have a local group of mathematics teacher educators with which to share teaching and research ideas. So, in July 2009 eight of us met for the organization’s first planning meeting and in January 2010 we had our first members’ meeting. Considering what a small state Maryland is, I was thrilled that 53 mathematics educators attended. I saw that I was not alone in the desire to strengthen connections and share ideas.
In June 2011, the AMMTE became the 20th affiliate of the AMTE and we received the official charter at the AMTE’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. Since the beginning, the AMMTE has continued to meet two to three times a year. I look forward to these meetings as they are a time to find out what others are doing, seek advice, and talk with others who face similar professional challenges. I am also pleased that our organization is one that the Maryland State Department of Education now turns to when looking for feedback on new initiatives. I am proud to be involved in an organization dedicated to the improvement of mathematics teacher education in all its aspects in the State of Maryland.
By W. Gary Martin
The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators of Alabama was formed in 2009. Our founding meeting was held at the Alabama Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM) annual forum, where we discussed the paperwork, which we presented to AMTE. We sat together at the Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, eager to become an affiliate of AMTE. However, it appeared that we had forgotten one small detail – a required cover letter! Unfortunately, we did not have any paper, so W. Gary Martin penned the letter on a napkin. This small delay created some drama, because it opened a window for one of the other affiliates to leap ahead of us. But we are still an AMTE Affiliate, so all’s well that ends well.
Since 2009, we have met annually as a part of the ACTM annual meeting, which is typically held in November. We have additionally met in the spring on several occasions when we had something urgent to discuss. Overall, AMTEA has really helped to unify the mathematics teacher educators across the state, allowing us to speak with a unified voice, to explore areas of collaboration, and to learn from and with each other. In Fall 2016, we spent our time together discussing the draft AMTE standards, and subsequently submitted a report. This spring we met to discuss some significant changes that are being proposed in state priorities and policies.
By Sarah Fuentes
The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators in Texas (AMTE-TX) became an affiliate of AMTE in 2008. Since its infancy, AMTE-TX has grown with respect to its membership as well as its yearly activities. The organization has built its capacity to serve and involve its members through incorporating a website; newsletter (now an online journal); task forces such as those charged with aligning the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards and the NCTM/CAEP Standards for both secondary and middle grades mathematics; strand of sessions dedicated to mathematics teacher educators at the annual Texas conference for K-12 mathematics teachers (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching); and Annual Fall Conference. Each of these activities has evolved since its inception, as exemplified by the Annual Fall Conference.
The first conference in Fall 2013 was supported through a grant from the Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The University of Houston Cinco Ranch Campus hosted the one-day conference with the theme Building a Community of Practice. Two keynote speakers, one representing the national level (Fran Arbaugh, President of AMTE at that time) and the other a state-level mathematics specialist (Shelly Bolan-Abbott), provided a foundation to guide discussions in three different breakout sessions. Based on this first experience, the Conference Steering Committee recommended AMTE-TX hold a conference each fall at different locations around the state. Members could submit a proposal to host the conference at their institutions. Since Texas is such a large state, the purposeful rotation of the location of the conference would allow for the inclusion of mathematics teacher educators across the state.
In line with the aforementioned recommendations, AMTE-TX has since held a conference each fall. The subsequent conferences were supported in part by the host universities (Baylor University, Tarleton State University, and Abilene Christian University). The conferences kick off with an evening social event highlighting a local attraction followed by full day of sessions. The keynote speakers present virtually, eliminating travel expenses and allowing for a national panel of mathematics teacher educators, including Jennifer Bay-Williams, Randy Philipp, Kristin Umland, Christine Thomas, DeAnn Huinker, Gary Martin, Robert Berry, Beth Burroughs, Douglas Clements, Jim Lewis, and Denise Spangler, to share their expertise. The breakout sessions for the last two conferences included speakers who proposed sessions related to each of the conference themes: Responding to Principles to Actions and Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow’s Classrooms.
Each conference requires the concerted effort of a cadre of AMTE-TX members. The preparations for the next conference in Fall 2017 are underway.
By Robert Reys
Setting the stage
In the early 1960s much was happening in mathematics education as the 'new math' era was gaining steam following the 1957 launch of Sputnik. Thanks to the National Science Foundation (NSF), many new mathematics curriculum projects were under development across the United States. During this same period schools were able to get funds to purchase materials to support K-12 mathematics and science programs as a result of the 1958 National Defense Education Act. In addition to funding curriculum projects, NSF provided support for summer and full-year institutes to strengthen the mathematics content knowledge of K-12 mathematics teachers. These NSF institutes impacted thousands of K-12 teachers throughout the United States and many of the participants went on to become national leaders in mathematics education. The NSF institutes were targeted toward inservice teachers. Some were for junior and secondary mathematics teachers, and others for elementary teachers. Their goal was to strengthen the mathematics content of these teachers so they could effectively implement the mathematics curricula that were being developed and were significantly different than traditional K-12 mathematics textbooks. However, it quickly became clear that unless something was done to strengthen the undergraduate mathematics preparation of K-12 pre-service teachers, the need for inservice education would continue as new generations of teachers entered the profession.
MAA and CUPM
In 1953 the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) recognized the need to strengthen the undergraduate preparation of mathematics K-12 teachers by establishing the Committee on Undergraduate Programs in Mathematics (CUPM). However, the 'new math' era of the 1960s increased awareness of the critical need for strengthening undergraduate preparation and, given the evolvement of these new mathematics curricula, there was an urgent need for prompt action. Thus, the NSF provided support to the MAA for CUPM to organize and hold some regional meetings for mathematics departments throughout the United States.
Regional CUPM Meeting in St. Louis
In the spring of 1964 a regional CUPM meeting was held in the old Sheraton-Jefferson Hotel in St. Louis. Faculty representatives from a number of institutions of higher education attended the two-day meeting. I was a doctoral student1 at the University of Missouri and Dr. Lois Knowles invited me to accompany her to attend the meeting. Others attending and contributing to the meeting included: Paul Burcham, Chair of the Mathematics Department, University of Missouri; Roy Utz, Mathematics Department, University of Missouri; Lois Knowles, College of Education (no departments existed at that time) University of Missouri; Carl Fronabarger, Chair of the Mathematics Department, Southwest Missouri State College; Dale Woods, Chair of the Mathematics Department, Northeast Missouri State College; Russell Michel, Chair of the Mathematics Department, Southeast Missouri State College; Raymond Freese, Mathematics Department, St. Louis University; George Barrett, Mathematics Department, Northwest Missouri State College; and Charles, Kelley, Central Missouri State College.
I know only the University of Missouri (MU) requirements, and as of 1963 MU had no specific mathematics requirement for elementary teachers, and offered a 2-semester hour methods course. The secondary requirements began with college algebra and the calculus sequence resulting in a total of 30 semester hours in mathematics—requiring specifically a course in algebra and a course in geometry beyond calculus.
As I recall, the CUPM recommendations at that time included two content courses in mathematics for future elementary teachers. One course in the number system and one course in geometry were identified and the content briefly described. The CUPM recommendations2 for secondary were more closely aligned with the MU requirements, with the exception that the CUPM recommendations included a course in statistics. The exchanges during the meeting were informative and on the second day, the attendees talked about the need to have future meetings to discuss progress in strengthening their programs for future mathematics teachers. Furthermore, there was expressed interest in having additional opportunities to discuss issues and challenges of mutual concern to the preparation of K-12 mathematics teachers.
Someone said we should name our group, and then various names were offered. It was agreed that "Missouri, Mathematics, and Teachers" should be in the title. Then someone said we are talking about teacher training (note: although "training" may no longer be in vogue—it was then!) Someone said Association should be a part of the name—and Paul Burcham said we have MMATT—or M2AT2 and then he said we need another A—and said how about Advancement? Thus the name Missouri Mathematical Association for the Advancement of Teacher Training (MAT)2 was born. At least that is my best recollection of the chain of events from a half century ago—so that is my story and I am sticking with it!
1As a doctoral student I was a fly on the wall during this meeting—observing and basically staying out of the way. There were probably 20-30 people who attended, including some from Illinois—but I think most attendees were from Missouri. My apologies to those attendees not listed, but my guess is that few if any are still alive to complain about their omission.
2 The conference had a significant impact on institutions of higher education. For example, within two years following this meeting, the University of Missouri added two required courses in mathematics (Development of the Number System and Geometry) for elementary teachers and the elementary methods course was increased to 3-semester hours.
By Shari Stocker, Founding President
Discussion about forming a Michigan AMTE affiliate began at the 2014 AMTE conference when a group gathered at the affiliate breakfast to gauge interest in taking on this endeavor. Sufficient interest and a group willing to lead the effort led to the new affiliate, MI-AMTE, being chartered in November 2014 and recognized as an affiliate at the 2015 AMTE Annual Conference. Since that time, MI-AMTE has focused both on the more mundane, but challenging, tasks of getting organized, and on becoming a presence in the state. In just two years, the organization has become incorporated, obtained non-profit status, and engaged nearly half of its approximately 100 members in leadership or committee roles. We have held two successful conferences, with this year’s conference including a pre-conference focused on statistics education. We have begun to have a voice in the state by responding to calls for comment from the Michigan Department of Education and advocating for changes to teacher testing in the state. Importantly, we have begun to establish partnerships with other mathematics organizations that will position us to strengthen our advocacy role in the future.
By Erin Krupa
When I first moved to New Jersey to start my tenure at Montclair State University I felt very isolated from the local mathematics education community and the needs of teachers in our K-12 schools. I sought out a community of mathematics educators and found NJ-AMTE. The national President of AMTE presented at my first NJ-AMTE conference and I felt so honored to have them as part of our local conference, helping us tackle the issues in our state. Then, when AMTE welcomed a new national President, we welcomed her to NJ for our annual state-wide conference. This connection between the national governing body and our local affiliate has shown the dedication of AMTE to the success of its affiliates and has helped me find a place at home, for discussing and improving mathematics education, in my state.
The Story of PAMTE
By Jane Wilburne, Founding President
The idea of a Pennsylvania AMTE affiliate began in January 2006 when several mathematics educators from Pennsylvania attended a session at the AMTE Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida. The session was titled, “Becoming an AMTE affiliated group: Learning from experience” and was presented by Nadine Bezuk, Susan Beal, Tamas Szabo, Gladis Kersaint, Carol Fry Bohlin, and Hari Koirala. The presenters shared the steps required to start an affiliate group, provided sample constitutions and organizational frameworks, discussed current initiatives, shared suggestions, and presented some challenges to creating new professional organizations. Being inspired by the session, the PA mathematics teacher educators met over lunch and began discussing a plan to work on starting an affiliate group. The group included Jane Wilburne, Rose Zbiek, Kathy Heid, and Mary Ann Jensen.
By October 2006, a constitution had been written and was ratified by a group of mathematics teacher educators who attended the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference in Seven Springs, PA. The group voted on the constitution and by-laws, the name of the affiliate, the affiliate logo, and the first board members. The charter board members included Jane Wilburne, President; Nina Girard, President Elect; Winnie Peterson, Secretary; Janet Walker, Treasurer; and Mike Long, Tom Evitts, and Debbie Gochenaur as Members at Large.
PAMTE held its first Symposium in April 2007 at Shippensburg University with Ruth Heaton and Peg Smith as keynote speakers. PAMTE has held an annual symposium every year and recently celebrated its 11th Annual Symposium. We have been thrilled to have had outstanding keynote speakers each year including Jennifer Bay Williams, Nadine Bezuk, Joe Merlino, Rose Zbiek, Glen Blume, Fran Arbaugh, Lynne Ipina, Jim Rubillo, Judith Jacobs, Christine Thomas, Christopher Phillips, and Melissa Boston.
Affiliate Charter History
- AAMTE- Inactive as of 2013
- RMAMTE- Inactive as of 2016
- Iowa AMTE