Brent Ferguson (M.Div, P.T.S. 2006) has been teaching since '93 in Ohio, California, and New Jersey; in physics, chemistry, and mathematics; in public and private institutions; in single-sex and coed classrooms. Currently on the mathematics faculty at The Lawrenceville School nearby, Brent stays connected to PTP and PU through panel presentations and participation in the Humboldt University (Berlin) exchange for each of the last three years, including travel to Germany in July 2015. He developed curriculum for and taught in the Princeton Univ. Preparatory Program (PUPP) for five years, has served for seven summers on the Summer Programs faculty for The Assn. of Boarding Schools (TABS) mentoring those new to boarding schools, and was the Director of the Lawrenceville Summer School for three years. While still teaching for TABS, he now enjoys most of his summers differently: long road trips (9-weeks this year!) with his spouse and two daughters and a writing project co-authoring the teachers' edition notes for a new AP Calculus textbook. As a teacher of AB and BC Calculus and upper-level seminar electives in Number Theory and Computational and Constructional Geometry, he also is a veteran reader for the AP Calculus exam each year in Kansas City. Still, some of his favorite math conversations tend to be with middle-school students as they begin to see the wonder of the mathematics in the world around them and in the relationships embedded within numbers themselves.
Brent sees his teaching in ministerial terms: helping students navigate the dicey waters of adolescence to find out who they are and who they're becoming (and especially the role they have in the latter!); he encourages them to grow in both voice and vulnerability in their own lives, especially in their learning process. He was awarded one of the 2013 Rosenthal Prizes for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching from the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMATH) in New York City, and he uses forms of formative assessment and feedback that stimulate student engagement with the content, with each other, and with their growing selves in reflection.
Besides his being nurtured by parents and mentor teachers as a student, Brent credits Kenyon College faculty with helping learn how to write more powerfully, Princeton Seminary faculty with helping him learn how to read more deeply, and Teacher Prep faculty with helping him to teach more socially/relationally. He enjoys mentoring other faculty and learning from them, and he maintains an active collection of books and recommendations for educators, especially related to mathematics. He speaks annually at regional and national conferences and is always looking to learn about what others are doing, especially in leveraging new technologies for the sake of classical educational goals.
An NCAA All-American athlete, Brent also coaches the swim teams at Lawrenceville and helps facilitate on-campus mathy and service-oriented clubs and a small weekly Bible study group. He has also generated curriculum for, and led, student trips to Bolivia (service) and Greece (math and history) and revels in the opportunity to see a new piece of this world whenever possible. His best adventures, however, happen each year as he learns the stories of his students and walks with them for a short time on their journey.
Brent's recommended list of Books for Math Lovers, Math for Book Lovers can be found here.