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  • Writer's pictureSylvester Chisom

A Trans-Disciplinary Approach To Math Education-Global Career Tech Education Podcast Ep.39

A Trans-Disciplinary Approach To Math Education-Global Career Tech Education Podcast Ep.39


Episode 39 of the Global CTE Podcast, hosted by Sylvester Chisom, features an insightful discussion with three innovative educators from ETHS. Dale Leibforth, Math Department Chair and recipient of the ICTM Lee Yunker Mathematics Leadership Award, shares his experiences in integrating real-world applications in math education and his role in early college success programs. Erin Slade talks about her unique approach to teaching algebra through entrepreneurship and coding, as well as her involvement in the data science course developed at Stanford. Maryjoy Heineman discusses the practical and community-focused Geometry in Construction program, where students learn geometry by building homes, currently working on their 9th affordable house for the community.

Topics Covered:

  • Discover Real-World Math Applications: Learn how math can be taught through practical, real-world scenarios, enhancing student engagement and understanding.

  • Explore Innovative Teaching Techniques: Gain insights into unique and creative methods for teaching algebra, coding, and entrepreneurship.

  • Understand the Impact of Transdisciplinary Learning: See how blending disciplines like math and construction can offer a more holistic educational experience.

  • Learn About Equity in Math Education: Find out how to address and reduce educational barriers in subjects like algebra and calculus.

  • Get Inspired by Community-Driven Projects: Hear about students building homes for their community, integrating practical skills with academic learning.

Dale Leibforth graduated from ETHS in 1993 and started working there in 1997.  After spending 17 years in the classroom, he spent the last 10 years serving as Math Department Chair.  He also serves as the Early College Success Manager, working with our Dual Credit and AP programs. Dale recently received the 2023 Illinois Council Of Teachers Of Mathematics (ICTM) Lee Yunker Mathematics Leadership Award.

Erin Slade is in her 11th year teaching. She coteaches Algebra in Entrepreneurship with Chris Manila, who piloted the course in 2015, and Algebra in Coding with Jodi Alperstein who brought the course to ETHS from Bootstrap Algebra in 2021. Both courses teach Algebra 1 content through their respective disciplines. She also teaches Data Science, which was developed at Stanford and improved by her colleagues Sarah Apfelbaum, Neva Curry, and Niraj Javia. 

Maryjoy Heineman has been co-teaching Geometry in Construction at ETHS with Matt Kaiser since the program began in 2013. They, along with this year's Geometry in Construction students, are building the 9th affordable home for their community. Geometry in Construction is a specialty course that originated at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado. Students learn geometry through the lens of building a home.

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