New Faculty Interview
with Dr. Candice Price, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Collaborations & Calculations:
An Insight to Dr. Candice Price’s Classroom
Most may not imagine math to be a highly collaborative subject. Frequently, the stereotypical image of a mathematician is someone working away at numbers in isolation. However, Dr. Price aims to correct this misconception when it comes to math. If you were to walk into Dr. Price’s office hours what you would find is a highly collaborative environment in which she encourages students not only to work through problems with her, but also with one another.
Dr. Price describes her teaching approach as student-centered. She allows students to guide themselves and ask lots of questions. What is perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Dr. Price’s approach lies in the student interactions she facilitates. Dr. Price acknowledges that math can be a very isolating experience. She recollects on her past as an undergraduate at California State University, Chico being encouraged by her professors to pursue math. Although she was skilled at math, she often struggled with the idea of being a mathematician since there were few people in the field that resembled her. Dr. Price acknowledges that math was even difficult for her and that she sympathizes with students to face the same issues with the subject. She describes how powerful it can be to have someone going through it with you. This is why she facilitates relationships amongst her student. Dr. Price believes that when you have someone to work and commiserate with, it can make the process a lot less isolating.
For those who struggle with math, this narrative may seem familiar. Finding math difficult may make one feel as if it is a testament to their intelligence and their abilities. In her classroom, Dr. Price’s strongly discourages students to think this way. She employs an empathetic teaching style that pushes students to have a growth mindset versus a fixed one when it comes to math.
Outside the classroom, Dr. Price also envisions math becoming more collaborative. She is currently working towards developing a course that integrates math and engineering in order to tackle issues of social justice. She loves USD for this reason. Dr. Price appreciates that USD facilitates an environment that makes social justice a priority in the classroom. She also believes that the Math Department at USD plays a role in this. She values the collaborative environment amongst all the professors in her department. As a team, they all work towards helping student get a better understanding of math while openly giving each other feedback.
For Dr. Price, collaboration is key inside and outside the classroom. It is this kind of environment that will not only help students develop a friendly relationship with math but will also help bring social justice and awareness to the forefront of the subject.