Dr. Larry Hatfield

Professor, Mathematics Education

Dr. Hatfield's responsibilities in Mathematics Education include

-- Appointment as a Professor

-- Work on Project LITMUS and Project Millenium Math

-- Teacher of courses in mathematics and mathematics education

I joined the faculty of this department in 1968, coming from my Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota, where I had served for five years as an Instructor at the University High School. I earned a B.S. in secondary mathematics education at Minnesota (1962), and an M.A. in mathematics from Western Michigan University (1966). During 1973-74, I served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Mathematical Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. During 1985-87, I served as a Program Director and Deputy Division Director, National Science Foundation. In 1990 I was privileged to receive the Josiah T. Meigs Award for Excellence in Teaching.

I first began using computers in teaching school mathematics in 1964. Our U-High teachers (all doctoral students at the time) developed and researched new approaches where our mathematics students designed, tested, corrected, refined, and extended their own BASIC computer programs to learn concepts, discover generalizations, and solve applied problems. This problematic approach using computer tools has permeated my work throughout my career, much of which has appeared in my publications and presentations.

With my colleagues, Les Steffe and Tom Cooney, we organized the NSF-supported Georgia Center for the Study of Learning and Teaching Mathematics, a consortium of several hundred researchers in mathematics education organized into five working groups. I directed the Mathematical Problem Solving group, which resulted in several monographs and projects at several university sites. I also participated in the NSF-supported Project for the Mathematical Development of Children, in which I conducted a two-year teaching experiment to investigate second grader's constructions of personal computational algorithms. Both projects greatly affected my teaching and epistemology.

In 1989, with my colleagues John Olive and Henry Edwards (Mathematics) I initiated and directed the NSF-supported Project LITMUS, a five-year systemwide reform of mathematics teaching through teacher enhancement effort with Elbert County and Greene County Schools. During the nearly eight years of collaboration, we have assisted all teachers of mathematics, grades K-12, to teach mathematics using computer tools. Many of my recent papers have reported on these experiences.

Over the past couple of years, I've begun to focus on a new area of research, dealing with the study of the emotional dimensions of school mathematics experiences. I'm exploring the deeper feelings that students have about what they are encountering as mathematics students, and the deeper feelings that teachers have about the events of their mathematics classroom teaching. I'm seeking to gain a clearer picture of the relationships that develop between or among the students and teacher. I want to examine the self concept (especially self worth or self esteem) felt by school mathematics students, and explore how that may connect to the complex tapestry of their mathematical experiences.

I'm a father of 4 adult children and 2 stepdaughters.