Instructor Integrates Life Lessons into Math

Dr. Josephine Davis is a world traveler who has had a wide range of experiences with the Wonders of the World. From walking the Great Wall of China, exploring the inner chambers of the pyramids, to exploring the rain forests of Victoria Falls. She has ascended the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, had close encounters with elephants in the wild, and taken African safaris by foot,  sea, and Land Rover. 

Dr. Davis is a longtime eCore online instructor and the Interim Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Fort Valley State University, one of eight eCore affiliate institutions in the University System of Georgia. 

Dr. Davis says eCore has given her and her students the opportunity to interact with other students from diverse institutions with very diverse backgrounds, interests and needs. Teaching eCore classes has given Dr. Davis round-the-clock access to her students and she noted: "With this communication capability, I am able to interact with students at a more personal and immediate level."

 "I particularly enjoy the transition that I witness in students who initially believe that math is a subject for computing and not writing. As the course progresses, the students are surprised at how adept they have become in expressing themselves in writing using appropriate mathematical language. They arrive at understanding that mathematics is more about cultivating habits of mind, ways of perceiving reality than just doing the computation to get an answer to a problem".

She has found it insightful to have students share their motivational poems, stories or life lessons. After midterm, she knows that some students' spirits are low because their performance does not meet their expectations. So she has used blogging to encourage students to share anonymously with each other what motivates them through life's challenges. She has also found that students are very innovative and resourceful in finding websites that add value to our classroom topics of discussions. Dr. Davis incorporates a variety of technological resources available to enliven the eCore classroom experience for her students. Using diverse technologies to engage students using a variety of media resources.

What's next on Dr. Davis' list? "I have visited China on three previous occasions and have a trip planned within a couple of weeks. This trip is interesting because I will share my enthusiasm for China travel with my four granddaughters. This fulfills a promise that I made to them of taking them abroad when they become teenagers - for them it will be the opportunity for them to come of age on the global stage,"she said.

by Carlos Schweinfurth