Mount Union College Holds Faculty Research Forum

April 15, 2010


The concept of hope, teaching methodology and an interactive tool for teaching mathematics were under discussion at Mount Union College's Faculty Research Forum, held on November 5.

The forum, moderated and timed by Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Dr. Michael Olin-Hitt, featured three faculty members who spoke for approximately 20 minutes each on their focus of research.

Dr. Scott Gravlee, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies, presented "The Concept of Hope in Ancient Greek Philosophy." He focused on Plato's view of hope as both a vice and a virtue. Within his research, he also found that "hope is not a secular value, like a sense of humor can be."

Dr. Ernest O. Pratt, assistant professor of education, presented "Teacher Work Sample Methodology: An Investigation into the degree of alignment between the contents of mathematics work samples in the NCTM standards in work samples produced by student teachers at Western Oregon University between 1991 - 1999." He wanted to assess the methods of teacher training by comparing work samples of student teachers to the accepted national standards. He suggested future studies to determine whether the Teacher Work Sample Methodology is useful in providing students with challenging learning opportunities and preparing quality teachers for our nation's schools.

Dr. John Kirchmeyer, professor of computer science and information systems, presented "Interactive Set Language: A Tool for Learning and Teaching Mathematics." Kirchmeyer developed the Interactive Set Language for Windows (ISETLW) over the summer of 1995. ISETLW is a computer programming language that facilitates learning and teaching mathematics through cooperative learning and learning by discovery, rather than a professor transferring knowledge.

After a brief question and answer session, Olin-Hitt concluded the forum with brief remarks on the similarities between the three research topics.

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