by Claire Miller
College of Education Assistant Professor Iman Chahine’s ethnomathematics course begins in a traditional setting – the classrooms at Georgia State University. But mid-semester, students travel to Fez, Morocco, to work with apprentices and masters in their workshops.
The course, which blends classroom instruction with a study abroad experience, gives students a firsthand look at how other cultures use math in everyday life.
This innovative approach to teaching ethnomathematics was recognized by the university community when Chahine was named the 2012 recipient of the GSU Instructional Innovation Award. The award recognizes university level outstanding innovations in teaching that result in improved learning.
Chahine found out just before this year’s trip to Morocco that she’d won the award, and was thrilled to see the program highlighted at the university level.
“This award really celebrates the work my students have done abroad,” she said. “This is ethnomathematics from a hands-on, inquiry-based approach where immersion is key to learning.”
Chahine is the second COE faculty member in a row to win the award. In 2011, Steve Harmon, associate professor of instructional technology, was recognized for an instructional strategy that encouraged more collaborative learning online.
“As a college of education, we should be advancing these kinds of teaching models,” she said.
Moving forward, Chahine hopes to work with faculty across academic disciplines to develop courses with study abroad components.
For more information on the award, visit http://www.gsu.edu/cii/awards.html.