Abstract / Synopsis

In this article, we discuss an autobiographical writing assignment that we call an “automathography” which can be used in different types of mathematics and mathematics education courses, and by extension, in other disciplines as well. This assignment can enhance student-instructor interactions, develop student communication skills, and provide outlets for student creativity by leveraging the lived experiences of students. We have deployed the assignment in different kinds of classes (general education [service] courses and major-only seminars) at different kinds of institutions (a private, open-admission, large university on the East Coast and a private, highly selective, small liberal arts college on the West Coast). We argue that the automathography can be used in both lower- and upper-level courses as a way of encouraging others to develop similar assignments and gain the benefits to instructors and their students associated with the use of a powerful pedagogical tool.



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