Team teaching and cooperative groups in abstract algebra: nurturing a new generation of confident mathematics teachers
Experiences in designing and teaching a reformed abstract algebra course are described. This effort was partially a result of a five year statewide National Science Foundation (NSF) grant entitled the Rocky Mountain Teacher Enhancement Collaborative. The major thrust of this grant was to implement reform in core mathematics courses that would effect a shift to a learning paradigm from the traditional instructional paradigm. The central teaching action involved in this reform of abstract algebra was the use of team teaching in a cooperative group setting. The liaison of a mathematician working collaboratively with a mathematics educator provided valuable lessons in understanding key components of effective teaching. A series of qualitative interviews were conducted along with several supporting surveys. The survey data along with various forms of student evaluations served as a basis for drawing conclusions for the study.