on faculty since 1990
Ph.D., Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 1996
M.S., Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 1993
M.S., Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, 1990
B.S., Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1988
Mathematics professor David Klanderman, Ph.D., has spent more than two-fifths of his life teaching math at Trinity Christian College. After graduating in 1988 from Calvin College with a bachelor’s of science in mathematics, he returned to his native New York State to teach high school math and pursue his master’s degree in mathematics education, which he earned at Syracuse University in 1990. Later that summer, he accepted a position at Trinity, where he currently serves as the department chair.
Throughout his more than 20 years at the College, Klanderman has taught the whole gamut of mathematics courses, including Calculus; Discrete Structures; Numerical Analysis; Linear Algebra; Geometry; Statistics; Abstract Algebra; and Differential Equations. He also teaches Introductory Statistics and Methods of Teaching Math at the Secondary Level in Trinity’s Adult Studies program during the summer months.
Not content with one graduate degree, Klanderman enrolled in Northern Illinois University to complete work on a second master’s degree and a doctoral degree. In 1993, he received his master’s in mathematics, and three years later garnered a doctorate in mathematical sciences.
In addition to numerous awards, grants, presentations, and published articles, Klanderman also oversees a popular annual event at Trinity: the area Math Triathlon, which attracts competing teams from local Christian schools.
Ironically, the man who teaches numbers for a living enjoys nothing better than playing a challenging game of Scrabble in his spare time. Klanderman revels not only in the thrill of victory but also in the strategic placement of words, which requires considerable mathematical prowess.
“Scrabble is as much about numbers and strategy as it is about words,” he said. “You have to know the combinations of letters that fit in a precise order and know where to put the words geometrically.
“I’ve played against people who make long words that may only be worth about 10 to 15 points, whereas, I will make a three-letter word that hooks into a two-letter word that links into another two-letter word to yield 54 points. That’s why I really love it—for the strategy that’s involved.”
Playing games is a pastime with deep family roots. His grandmother “was a huge game fan who played anything. Whenever we visited together, we’d play games all day long.” Klanderman began playing Scrabble at age five and joined a weekly Scrabble club in high school. He competed in national tournaments in the mid-80s, once advancing to the national semifinals. The owner of four editions of the Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary, Klanderman at one time ranked among the top 100 Scrabble players in North America.
As passionate as he is about games of strategy (chess being another), he is even more so about teaching. He views his career in the academic realm as more than a way of living.
“Teaching is a calling, and you have to be totally committed to it,” he said. “You have to see people created in the image of God and respect them in that manner.
“When I deal with my students, I want to be fair and prompt with my assessments; they deserve that much from me. There’s a strong sense of gratification in teaching because I can see the fruits of my labor.”
Klanderman and his wife, Barbara, have two children, Sarah and William. His family lives in Mokena, Illinois, and they attend Community Life Christian Reformed Church in Lockport, Illinois.
Klanderman, D. and Robbert, S. (2012). Review of Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith by James Bradley and Russell Howell and A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri and Hartosh Singh Bal. Christian Scholar’s Review, 41(4), 401-405.
Barrett, J., Sarama, J., Clements, D., Cullen, C., McCool, J., Witkowski-Rumsey, C., and Klanderman, D. (2012). Evaluating and Improving a Learning Trajectory for Linear Measurement in Elementary Grades 2 and 3: A Longitudinal Study to Mathematical Thinking and Learning. Mathematical Thinking and Learning. 14(1), 28-54.
Barrett, J., Sarama, J., Clements, D., Cullen, C., Klanderman, D., Miller, A., and Rumsey, C. (2011) Children’s unit concepts in Measurement: A teaching experiment spanning grades 2 through 5. ZDM – The International Journal on Mathematics Education. 43(5), 637-650. (Note: ZDM = Zentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik)
“Integrating Moral and Spiritual Themes in Middle School and High School Mathematics Teaching Units.” Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences. Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences, Wheaton, Illinois.Klanderman, D. and Bird, S. (Fall 2007).
“Students’ Coordination of Geometric Reasoning and Measuring Strategies on a Fixed Perimeter Task: Developing Mathematical Understanding of Linear Measurement.” Journal for Research in Mathematical Education, 37(3), 187-221. Barrett, J. E., Clements, D. H., Klanderman, D., Pennisi, J., and Polaki, M. V. (May 2006).
Kuyers Mathematics Online (chapters 3 and 4). Lesson units published electronically at www.pedagogy.net/math. Bradley, J., Busch, A., Klanderman, D., Ricketts, E., and Talsma, G. (2007).
“A Christian Constructivist? The Impact of Worldview on Learning Theories and the Mathematics Education Research Community. Journal of the Association of Christians in the Mathematics Sciences. Klanderman, D. and Barrett, J. (2006).