The following is from a presentation I gave at the 2014 Society for Classical Learning Conference. The title of my talk was “Math for Goodness Sake.” Here is the abstract:
The mission of Regents School of Austin (and undoubtedly any classical Christian education) is to equip students to know, love and practice that which is true, good and beautiful. How does the teaching of mathematics fit into this mission? There are numerous resources that address the beauty and truth of mathematics, but how do we instill in students an appreciation for the inherent goodness of math (especially since many students experience mathematics as confusing, stressful and generally contrary to anything considered good)?
Mathematics is at its core a good and virtuous activity and its enjoyment is not reserved for the “intellectual elite.” This talk will examine how the goodness of mathematics is actually rooted in a proper understanding of the ordered nature of God. When viewed through this lens we can see mathematics as a missional activity that increases our versatility as worshipers of Christ. Several practical methods for developing what I term “mathematical affections” will be presented for consideration and classroom use.
You can find a full list of presenters and the topics discussed in the 2014 SCL Conference Program. To get a further idea of some of the great discussion the SCL has going on the teaching of mathematics specifically I highly recommend checking out the SCL Journal, Fall 2013 – Moving Beyond Mechanics: Teaching Math Classically.
Below you will find my PowerPoint presentation (simply click the image for the link) and the written outline of my talk. I believe SCL will be recording presentations, so hopefully I will eventually be able to post (or link to) the audio as well.
UPDATE (8/15/14): Here is a link to the audio. You may need to become a member of the Society for Classical Learning website in order to access the linked audio, though I am not sure.