Dr. Sarah Donaldson Joins Faculty
Dr. Sarah Donaldson has joined Covenant’s faculty as an assistant professor of education.
“We always love having a Covenant alum return to teach,” says Dr. Jim Drexler, chair of the education department. “Sarah grew up at Covenant. Her father, Dr. Charlie Donaldson, taught math and science at Covenant for thirty years.
“She brings a fresh perspective to math education, emphasizing concepts over simply mastering formulas. Being able to hire a professor with a doctorate in math education is huge for Covenant – there just aren’t that many with those credentials!”
Donaldson earned her bachelor’s degree at Covenant. She holds a master’s of education from the University of Georgia, where she also earned her Ph.D. in mathematics education. While completing her Ph.D., she worked as an adjunct professor and visiting instructor at Covenant. Before that, she taught for four years at Chattanooga Christian School, three years at Riverside School in Prague, and one year at the Christian International School of Prague.
Donaldson believes that for students to learn, they must be active. “It's important that, in any class, the students are the ones doing the thinking,” she says. “In other words, it doesn't do any good for me to just show students how to do something and then have them mimic me. They actually have to do the work themselves. I want my students, who are future teachers, to be convinced that it's not enough to ‘show and tell.’ Students actually have to do the mathematics.
“The need for meaning, the creativity that students use to solve problems in unique ways, and the value of letting students think instead of thinking for them—all of these stem from our nature as human beings. God has made us in his image, so we are rational, creative, valuable beings, and each life—and the rest of creation too—has meaning. This is central to everything I believe about math education.”
Beginning this fall, Dr. Donaldson will teach mathematics and education courses, among them a course on math for educators, another on concepts in math, and an assessment and research course in Covenant’s master of arts in teaching program.