Quadratics - A Self-certification Course for Educators

Supported by the National Science Foundation


Important:  This course is for educators, but you need to create a student account to access. After clicking the Enroll button, create a Student and not an Educator account using your personal email.

This course is for educators. The upper-school curriculum topic of quadratics—their algebra and their graphs—provides a profound opportunity to explore innovative problem-solving, to experience deep joy in truly understanding mathematics, and to practice the powerful art of thinking like a mathematician. This overview of the topic shows how to teach and experience just that. This is an experiential, Professional Development course that allows teachers to obtain a certificate of recognition for completing this course at their own pace. On completing the course, teachers may also use the course as instructional material to teach their students.

Each of the six lessons here is based on a 35-45 minute video of  Dr. Tanton as he shares his thoughts and experiences on thinking about and teaching quadratics. Each video is divided into small, manageable segments, to make the lesson accessible and easier to digest. Each segment provides a detailed essay explaining the content of that segment and practice examples (and a few additional examples) that are referenced in the video segment. In addition, there are companion problem sets to accompany each segment.

How It Works

  1. Review the content (video and essay) in Lessons 1 through 6. Each lesson has 3 or 4 segments. In each segment, watch the video, read the essay and notes, and try the practice problems in each set of notes. Solutions are provided at the end of each essay.
  2. For additional practice, try the problem set in each segment.
  3. After you finish the problem sets for each segment, complete the Certification Test with 48 problems at the very end of the course. Attempt this Certification Test as many times as you like, save your work and come back to do in stages or do it one sitting.  All problems are multiple-choice or require a numerical response.
  4. Earn a score of 85% or more, and you will have earned a Certificate of Completion. 
  5. You will receive a personalized certificate of completion issued by The Global Mathematics Project and Edfinity, acknowledging the completion of 12 hours of online training. Certificates are typically issued within a couple of weeks of each calendar quarter. If you don't receive your certificate, feel free to write to support@edfinity.com
  6. This self-certification course costs US$10.99 per participant. Payments are non-refundable.
  7.  The Global Mathematics Project and Edfinity cannot provide any assurance that your certificate will be honoured by your school or local education district as proof of professional development work (Administrative rules on this vary significantly across the globe).
150+ problems
Paired with 20+ lecture videos and essays

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James Tanton
Mathematical Association of America, Mathematician-at-Large