I have been a teacher for over 40 years (and I'm still young!). I began teaching in Cincinnati, Ohio. I taught a range of ages from young children through middle school. I also served as mathematics coordinator in middle school.
I chose to continue my education, taking several courses in English literature and mathematics. I later gave full attention to courses in mathematics. I chose mathematics because I found that many of my students didn't like it. I was challenged to find ways to "turn them on" to the beauty of mathematics.
I earned a master's degree in mathematics education from the University of Detroit. I studied mathematics at the University of Cincinnati, attended graduate school at the University of Illinois, and completed my doctoral studies at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. The program at Wayne State was a doctoral intern program; I worked as a faculty member while completing my studies. I was honored to be selected for this fellowship program, which included interesting educators from various states and countries. We participated in creating a "new" teacher preparation program that was interdisciplinary in nature. We formed partnerships with public schools in the area. I was able to do my doctoral research in Great Britain, researching the Nuffield Mathematics Teaching Project. It promoted many of the approaches in the current "mathematics reform" movement. What a great experience!
After twenty-nine years at Cal State LA, working with students in the master's degree and credential programs, I find I am still learning. I have received honors for my teaching, of which I am very proud. I was awarded the "Outstanding Professor Award" in 1989-90 as a result of a peer review of my contributions to teaching, scholarship and to the campus and outside communities. I have expanded my interests to the mathematics preparation of students from K to university. I am looking for models and "best practices" that assist the underprepared student for the quantitative reasoning they need to be successful in their undergraduate studies at the university.
I believe that all learning begins with the student. Our role as teachers of students of any age is to view the world though their eyes. This includes creating challenging learning environments that support and build on the individual's experiences -- drawing on their language, culture and ways of thinking. The teacher who has knowledge of the subject, a personal desire to learn new things, and has captured the art of questioning to help students understand what they are learning is the one who can challenge students to be life-long learners. We need to do whatever it takes to empower students to understand and appreciate mathematics. I am interested in looking at new ways of involving learners through technology mediated instruction. I think computers and multimedia can enhance learning for students of all ages. Of course it still depends on a good teacher!
I am fortunate to be happily married. My husband, Roland Carpenter, is an emeritus professor from CSLA. His discipline is Astronomy and Physics. He had the reputation of being one of the best teachers in his department, teaching courses from General Education Astronomy to advanced courses in Relativity and other topics. He teaches on a part-time basis when he frees himself from his work at his computer and his studies in current theories in quantum mechanics.
If you wish, you can visit his web site at http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/rcarpen/rcarpen.htm
One of our greatest enjoyments are our grandaughter, Samantha and grandson, Isaiah. Samantha has inherited her mother's curiosity and zest for language. She is now in the fifth grade. I am thrilled that she is gaining a love for books and I look forward to her discovering the beauty of mathematics. My favorite picture of her is one taken when she was visiting us a few years ago. Isaiah will be two in August. He is a bundle of energy. His curiosity and love for wheels may indicate that he'll inherit his grandfather's love for physics. This may be stretching, but why not!