Dr. Xuechao Li

Associate Professor

Dr. Xuechao Li

 

 

Address

253 Milledge Hall

Dr. Li teaches UNIV courses in the DAE to help students transfer smoothly to UGA’s mathematic programs. She also enjoys the privilege of teaching in the FYO seminar for several years now.

Outside of the classroom, Xuechao enjoys gardening, food, and travel.

Teaching Philosophy

During my more than 20 years career as a teacher of mathematics I’ve taught a broad spectrum of courses to students with an equally broad spectrum of needs, knowledge, expectations, educational and cultural backgrounds. For me teaching is a process of continuous self-improvement. I am not the same teacher today that I was 15 years ago when I began teaching at UGA; or decades years ago when I began teaching at South East China Minority College. For me, it doesn’t matter how many years of teaching experience I have, every class, every section of those classes, could be a challenge. For excellence in teaching there is always space for improvement.

A math teacher will have to face different learning styles, offer a variety of instructional experiences and give every student the opportunity to participate actively in the learning process. Being a successful teacher depends on creating a friendly learning environment with a relationship in which students feel respected as well as challenged. Students should be encouraged to stretch themselves a bit beyond their level of comfort and be given an opportunity to leave every class feeling that they have overcome a new challenge successfully.

As a teacher of mathematics, I should like to note that mathematics is a very special and unique subject.

Mathematics can be seen as a international language. A lot of the students often see mathematics just as a boring collection of definitions, theorems, and proofs that they have to memorize. It is, unfortunately, very hard to try to show students the real beauty of mathematics in the framework of most existing courses as they are designed to feed students with often more facts than anyone could easily digest.

I consider mathematics to be a challenging subject to teach properly, which makes it especially attractive for me. Especially for UNIV 1110 courses with drop back students who have been struggling with math already for months; or for years while they were in high school. My main goal is to help students to become independent mathematical thinkers, capable of approaching, framing, and solving problems on their own. I attempt to make my classroom an engaging environment where students always feel free to contribute and ask questions. If time allowed, I would like to have students show their work on board to whole class.

Teaching Style and Methods

I prepare my classes thoroughly. I want to be interrupted during my lectures by students with questions and insights; I open each session with a brief reminder of the previous session’s material and an outline of the day’s topic; and I typically conclude with a summary of key points. There is a special session for review before every chapter test. I speak clearly and enthusiastically. Students are encouraged to learn from each other in study teams, thus, students are not competing with their classmates. When possible, I distribute solutions to homework problems, quizzes, and tests. To reduce students’ anxiety about tests, I prepare and provide review for students prior to test, additionally I let students learn to prepare their own review for tests by following my review and providing their own problems and solutions. I do not consider memorization to be the most important skill in math courses, critical thinking and the ability to find solutions far surpass memorization. Assignments and projects are naturally integrated into my courses. I spend time explaining the assignments and solving similar problems in class for further discussion.

Inclusive Teaching Statement

My experience as a member of an underrepresented group has helped me to understand how students who face similar challenges feel.

A classroom could be considered as a semester long corporation “family” within the members are engaged in instruction and learning. My goal is to build a goodwill, mutual respect and a welcome classroom environment, conductive to learning. I encourage participation from all students from all backgrounds and strive to ensure that all students in my classes are treated equitably with a mutual respect.

I’ll hold myself accountable to ensure that racism and discrimination will not be tolerated.

Through transparent policy, clearly defined syllabus and practice, I will ensure fair and inclusive access to classroom for participation, learning and discussion.

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Committed to students. Committed to success.

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