Cutting Edge > Affective Domain > Dilemmas about Teaching > Meteorology Professor Bob

Meteorology Professor Bob

Ivanova Dorothea, Bob Butler, Cinzia Cervato, and Bill Bruihler
In an upper-level meteorology class, meteorology Professor Bob introduces complex equations that include calculus. A growing body of students strongly resists using mathematical skills that should have been mastered in the prerequisite mathematics courses. The instructor explains the context and necessity of these equations for understanding meteorology at the upper-division level. A common statement of students is: "I don't do math." Students insist they love meteorology but dislike math and lobby the department head for a graphical approach without the use of equations. The department chair rejects the student request for a graphical approach. Through the remainder of the semester, students do not accept the importance of the math, even including simple unit conversions. Student complaints take the form of consumer demands. Professor Bob feels that mathematics faculty have not laid the groundwork for students to apply their math learning to real problems. What has gone wrong and what should Professor Bob have done to avoid or mediate this situation?


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Steve Semken, Tom Koballa, and Kelly Rocca


Meteorology Professor Bob  

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