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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development
 

Ron Tzur

Professor, Mathematics Education


Ron Tzur

Ron.Tzur@ucdenver.edu

303-315-4992

My story:

I was born and grew up in kibbutz Mishmar-Haemek, Israel. This experience shaped my personality, particularly caring for others' well being (hence equity and social justice). In this context, I was continually encouraged to support peers' and younger students' education via academic and social activities. This early exposure brought forth my keen interest in helping others, particularly in learning mathematics, and eventually led to my development into a mathematics teacher, teacher educator, and researcher of mathematics learning and teaching.

In line with my upbringing, I see education as the key to a life worth living, to realization of each and every human's potential, and to the continual conversation between generations that make possible nurturing individuals within their cultures. I consider every group in which I find myself (e.g., classes I teach, committees on which I serve) as a community and strive to provide each of its members with the best personal and academic experience. It goes without saying that, for me, education is about dialogue carried out by partners for the purpose of facilitating their mutual growth. Simply put, my educational work IS the source for my life-long learning.

My academic work has always focused on how teacher-learner interactions nurture mathematical powers in all involved. To this end, I study both how students learn particular concepts in math (e.g., fractions) and how teachers develop ever-improved ways to teach such concepts, and combine both lines of study into a growing, comprehensive framework. This framework explains the cognitive processes teaching may engender and links them to plausible brain functioning that underlie learning. My teaching of mathematics and my studies have always paid particular attention to those who are underserved and thus, too often, are left behind. I truly believe that good teaching entails every student's success in mathematics and related topics, and have built networks of communities where teachers strive to learn and provide such teaching.

My students at University of Colorado Denver:

I moved to the University of Colorado Denver in 2009. My interaction is with students taking a variety of courses as well as those conducting research through master’s theses or doctoral dissertations. I love my students and admire their choice of profession. They bring to class so much interest and caring, as well as concerns and at times fears of mathematics and its teaching. I do my best to assist them in meeting the challenges of improving mathematics teaching for generations of their students. I strive to capitalize on what they already know and continually 'push their envelopes' toward deep reasoning and understanding of foundational mathematical ideas. My door and ears are always open to learn more about them and to assist with whatever they need, in hope they'll develop similar pedagogical approaches.

Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:

  • Doctoral Dissertations - DSEP 8994
  • Theories of Mathematics Learning - MTED 5030/7030
  • Mathematics Teaching – Theory and Practice - MTED 5040/7040
  • Developmental Pathways in Students’ Mathematical Thinking - MTED 5060/7060
  • Elementary Mathematics Teaching I - UEDU 5002
  • Elementary Mathematics Teaching II - UEDU 5003
  • Mathematics for Elementary Teachers - MATH 3040

My research interests:

  • Students' conceptualization of difficult-to-grasp mathematical understandings
  • Mathematics teachers' development of pedagogical approaches and practices that support the above student learning
  • Theoretical accounts (frameworks) that explain the cognitive and social processes involved in learning a new (to the learner) idea and how they are linked to brain functioning

My hobbies:

Israeli folk dancing; listening to music of all genres (particularly classical) and singing; skiing; hiking; reading; playing basketball.

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