Kent State Professor Earns Outstanding Mathematics Teacher AwardPosted Oct. 29, 2013
Kent State University Associate Professor of Mathematics Beverly Reed, Ph.D., wanted to be a teacher since childhood, never seriously considering anything else. Reed always loved young children and developed a love of mathematics in high school. After graduating from college with a secondary mathematics teaching certificate and a K-8 certificate, she found a job teaching secondary mathematics. Reed has enjoyed teaching math ever since and her peers have noticed.
Reed was recently honored with the Kenneth Cummins Outstanding Mathematics Teacher Award by the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics, an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Each year, the council chooses one post-secondary educator for the award.
“Beverly was honored not only for her dedication in the classroom but also for her contribution to the profession at large,” said Christina Sherman, an executive board member of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
“It's an incredible honor,” Reed said. “Tears came to my eyes when I heard I was selected. I couldn't believe it! Dr. Kenneth Cummins was such an outstanding educator that to have my name mentioned in the same sentence as his is amazing.”
Reed began her career at Kent State in 1986 as a part-time instructor and in 1990 became a full-time instructor and course coordinator. Reed currently teaches Algebra and Trigonometry History of Mathematics and College Teaching of Mathematics. In addition to teaching, Reed also serves as the college algebra coordinator at Kent State. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from John Carroll University before earning her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction (with emphasis in mathematics education) from Kent State. Her primary research interests are in math education and the history of math in education.
Reed’s philosophy on teaching undergraduate mathematics is that students need to wrestle with and think about a concept before they truly understand it and then they need to assimilate it into their own thinking so that it makes sense to them.
“In my experience, a lecture usually does not facilitate this understanding, but inquiry-based activities can,” Reed said. “Discussing ideas with others also helps a student clarify his or her thinking.”
Students in her classes often work in cooperative groups – on in-class discovery activities, take-home problem sets and in-class quizzes.
“They seem to enjoy this type of activity and I’ve found that it enlivens the atmosphere in the classroom, encouraging students to be active learners instead of passive listeners,” Reed said.
Reed was honored at an Oct. 17 reception in Dayton at the annual conference of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Reed lives in Stow, Ohio with her husband and best friend, Jim. When she is not spending time with her family, particularly her 2.5 year-old twin grandchildren, Nicholas and Lillian, she enjoys cycling, swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing and volunteering for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Trailblazer program.
For more information about Kent State’s Department of Mathematical Sciences, visit www.kent.edu/math.