TCNJ mathematics professor Robert Cunningham has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award that will support his sabbatical to help integrate research-based teaching strategies into the curriculum of schools in the Caribbean.
A veteran high school mathematics teacher, Cunningham’s 10 years of classroom experience inspired him to think critically about the secondary mathematics curriculum and how student-centered learning and problem solving are keys to quality mathematics instruction.
“Teaching for problem solving requires more than just showing students how to solve problems,” Cunningham explains. “It allows students to use their previously acquired knowledge, skills, and understanding to solve unfamiliar problems. This type of teaching is a challenge to implement, yet the process of problem solving is essential to the field of mathematics.”
During his sabbatical, he will integrate these same research-based strategies taught at TCNJ into the curricula of schools in the Caribbean. Cunningham will work with faculty from St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, along with pre- and in-service teachers to implement these strategies.
“Hopefully, I can make a difference in their opportunities because if you’re good at mathematics, there are many opportunities that are open to you,” he says.
In 2016, Cunningham received a Fulbright Specialist grant at the Anguilla Community College. The award covered a one-month stay on the small Caribbean island of Anguilla, where he mentored pre-service teachers and provided feedback on curriculum at local primary and secondary schools. He is very excited by the opportunity to develop similar relationships with mathematics teachers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program offers nearly 470 teaching, research, or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries. Fulbright grants are budgeted to cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and their accompanying dependents.
Interested TCNJ faculty candidates may contact Cunningham for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Sarah Voorhees ’20