Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Jinho Kim, Mathematics Ed.D. 2002By mst • Apr 16th, 2012 • Category: Mathematics Education
Dr. Jinho Kim, Mathematics Education program graduate in 2002, was born in South Korea. He is currently working as an Associate Professor at Daegu National University of Education in Korea. Prof. Kim has fond memories of all his professors within the Mathematics Education program at Teachers College, especially Dr. Bruce Vogeli. He recalls various opportunities he had to discuss his interest in and out of the classroom with Dr. Vogeli, among other Program faculty. Kim was especially pleased with the instructional quality of the mathematics courses he took, in addition to the professors’ ability to manage their busy schedules and have time to answer his questions; providing him with insights which cannot be sought in papers and articles.
Professor Kim’s dissertation title was, Development of Instructional Units Connecting Informal and Formal Mathematical Knowledge of Equivalence and Addition. The findings of his research explained that children acquire mathematical knowledge before they entered school, through their everyday life, he states children are taught mathematics with the states of tabula rasa. The focus of Prof. Kim’s dissertation was to develop instructional units connecting informal mathematical knowledge and formal mathematical knowledge.
Prof. Kim further elaborates on his opportunities and courses taken as a graduate student at Teachers College, and compares this to his current association as a research professional. He spent numerous hours accessing the resources from the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College gathering articles and books for his research. “Perhaps, if there was not a good library such as TC library, I could not have completed my articles and books published last year.” The title of the books were, Mathematics Instruction-based on Constructivism: 3rd Grade, and Curves and Tools for Solving Three Constructible Problems. His current research interest is to develop strategies for teachers to successfully implement reform-based curriculum and instruction. He has identified a path for teachers to follow; he now is working on how to make the instruction method more systematic for teachers to use it easily. His approach to this is through the understanding of ‘Teaching Mathematics without Teaching,’ based on radical constructivism. “The core part of the instruction should be based on what students know, not on ones suggested in mathematics textbooks.”
In addition to his work as an Associate Professor, Prof. Kim is an avid manuscript translator between the Korean and English languages. To date he has translated thirteen books with colleagues, he explains the entire translation process usually takes two or three years to complete. His body of work as a published author and translator is aimed towards improving reform-based mathematics instruction in Korea. “I write books for sharing my understanding with colleagues and teachers.”
Prof. Kim is concurrently working on three major projects. First, Vol. 1: Mathematics Education in Korea: Curriculum, and Teaching, and Learning Practices, and Vol. 2: Mathematics Education in Korea: Contemporary Trends in Researches in Korea, two volumes to be published by July 2012 and July 2014, respectively. Second, he has been working to co-author national elementary school mathematics textbooks, workbooks, and teachers’ edition based on the 2009 National Mathematics Curriculum. A draft will be implemented and tested in elementary schools in Spring 2013. Third, Prof. Kim has been conducting research with Professor J. Philip Smith at Teachers College, Professor Youngyoul Oh at Department of Mathematics Education, Seoul National University of Education, and a doctoral candidate in the Mathematics Education program at Teachers College entitled, Future Research Topics in the Field of Mathematical Problem Solving. “Our interest is to know how experts in this field expect research to be conducted, and which topics in problem solving should be researched in the future?”
Along with his academic work, he is a member of the Korean Society of Mathematics Education and a chair editor of Education of Primary School Mathematics, since 2008. Prof. Kim is an editor of the Journal of the Korean School Mathematics Society, since 2005. He also holds a secretary position on the Local Organization Committee for 2012 History and Pedagogy of Mathematics in Daejeon, Korea.
Aside from his busy academic schedule, he finds time to enjoy life as a family man; he has a six-year old daughter that is his happiness. He reads children’s books to her, teaching her mathematics, how to cook and even how to ice skate. “As you can expect my life is not easy for conducting many projects, such as investigating research, writing books, translating books into Korean, advising graduate students, and so on, the time playing with my daughter gives me some peaceful relaxing time. The enjoyment is much better than the one felt when I finish my each project.” Prof. Kim’s family and friends described him as a “faithful person,” whose actions and speech are consistent.
By Deiana Jackson, Graduate Student, Mathematics Education Ed.D.