Election 2018: Travis A. Olson

Participation in AMTE and/or AMTE Affiliates(s)

I joined AMTE in 2004 as a first-year doctoral student at the University of Missouri. During my time as a doctoral student, I had the pleasure of serving on the Membership Committee (2005 – 2007), and the Constitution and By-Laws Committee (2006 – 2008). More recently, I was appointed to serve on the Communications Task Force (2011). As part of that work, we recommended the continuation of a formal Communications Committee. I continued to serve on the Communications Committee as a member (2012 – 2013), and then as the Chair of the committee (2013 – 2014).

Recently, the past years have been exciting for me as I served as a member of the writing team for the AMTE Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics. Additionally, I had the pleasure of serving on the Standards Dissemination Task Force (2017-2018).

During each of these opportunities I have had to serve AMTE, I have been continually reminded of the wonderful colleagues I have met and had the pleasure to work with throughout my time in the organization.

Qualifications for the Position

The Board seeks a person for this position who can support the financial specialist, but more than that, this person would be responsible for helping to set the big picture vision for how fiscal matters are handled within AMTE.

I believe that my experiences within AMTE, as well as other organizations has provided me with a broad perspective across the various communities within mathematics education. In particular, I believe my experiences with the NCTM PDSC envisioning the Innov8 conference, as well as my work with the NCSM PLC app provides me with forward-thinking perspectives that would be beneficial when working with the Board to think through fiscal matters.

Three Goals AMTE should make a Priority

Goal 1: Facilitate collaborations and conversations among faculty across institutions around the SPTM. I believe that AMTE is well positioned to facilitate work across institutions, which I believe would contribute to ATME’s prominence with respect to teacher education programs.

Goal 2: Engage other Teacher Education organizations to broaden the potential reach of the SPTM. As part of the SPTM dissemination task force, I presented on the SPTM at the annual Association of Teacher Educators conference. This was an eye-opening experience in that I had to delve into ATE standards and provide my perspective on where I believe the SPTM supports, and brings more specificity to the ATE standards. It seems that AMTE is in a historically unique position to use the SPTM, and our journal outlets, to take a lead within the broader teacher education community with respect to what we value as a mathematics education community. Perhaps such work can also help us think about the ways in which we are mathematics teacher educators, and how those ways may differ or be similar to any ways in which we view our work as educating teachers of mathematics.

Goal 3: Engage state-level mathematics coordinators to broaden the potential policy reach of AMTE and the SPTM. As part of my work with NCSM, it was my impression that state-level coordinators view NCSM as a source of information and guidance for policies and in the life of mathematics coordinators at all levels (school, district, and state). However, much of the guidance sought by these coordinators relates to the education of teachers of mathematics from in-service perspectives. It is my view that AMTE could engage in collaborative work (in addition to policy statements) across organizations and with state and district-level coordinators.

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