Dean Gus Hart of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences appointed Dr. Keith R. Leatham as the new chair of the Mathematics Education department effective July 1, 2020. Dr. Leatham will replace Dr. Blake E. Peterson, who has served as chair since June 2014.
“Keith has a strong desire to be useful and helpful, to build consensus when making decisions, and to protect the healthy department culture,” said Hart. “He is motivated to serve in ‘second mountain’ kind of way, and I am grateful for his willingness to accept this position.”
Leatham’s research focuses on understanding how teachers learn to facilitate student mathematics learning. In particular, he studies how teachers learn to use technology in teaching and learning mathematics, how they learn to recognize and use students’ mathematical thinking, and how their beliefs about mathematics, its teaching and learning are related to the learning-to-teach and teaching processes. He currently collaborates with Dr. Peterson and with faculty at Michigan Tech and Western Michigan University on NSF grant-funded research on the pedagogy of secondary mathematics education, with a focus on the how teachers orchestrate productive whole-class discussions.
Before coming to BYU, Leatham taught at Timpview High School and Portland State University. He is a member of a number of professional organizations including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.
Of this appointment, Leatham commented, “I came to BYU because of the existence of the Department of Mathematics Education. The faculty are highly skilled and deeply committed to furthering research on the learning and teaching of mathematics and to empowering our students to become inspiring mathematics educators. It will be an honor to serve the department in this capacity for a season.”