College of Education

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Adam Poetzel

Key Professional Appointments

  • Senior Instructor, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Awards, Honors, Associations

College of Education’s Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2021

University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2015

Max Beberman Mathematics Educator Award, Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2013

College of Education’s Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2012

Research & Service

Adam Poetzel serves as an instructor in secondary and elementary mathematics education. He joined the C&I faculty in the fall of 2007 after teaching mathematics at Champaign Central High School for ten years. Adam’s instructional focus is on the preparation and training of pre-service mathematics teachers to effectively teach diverse K-12 students. Currently, he teaches a variety of methods courses for both undergraduate and graduate candidates including courses that examine the role of technology and assessment in today’s mathematics classrooms. He maintains strong ties with local schools and is actively involved in several grants focused on the professional development of in-service mathematics teachers.


Lausell, S. L. R., Pitts, K., Sebestik, J., Reese, G., & Poetzel, A. (2016). Pre-college science and engineering for inner-city middle school students. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 2016-June.  link >

Poetzel, A., Muskin, J., Munroe, A., & Russell, C. (2012). Three-Dimensional Printing: A Journey in Visualization. The Mathematics Teacher, 106(2), 102-107.  link >

Poetzel, A. R., Hopkins, M. C., Muskin, J. J., Dover, R., & Piccolino, A. (2010). Moving a Wall: Using Geometry to Measure an Imperceptible Distance. The Mathematics Teacher, 446-452.


Since joining the C&I faculty, I have worked hard to bridge research and practice in the pre-service secondary and elementary mathematics education classes. It remains my goal to figure out the most effective ways of preparing our future teachers for the classroom. Part of that includes modeling effective teaching in my courses. I spend a great deal of time preparing for classes, building relationships with students, and reflecting on the progress of my students. I took this position in order to have a positive impact on the development of young teachers who engage students with meaningful mathematics and I will continue to strive for this goal.


CI 401: Introductory Teaching in a Diverse Society (CI 401) Orients the student to ways in which English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies or Computer Science is learned in school settings. Integrates an introduction to the use of technology as both a tool and a context for teaching and learning. As participants in a series of learning activities, students will reflect on the teaching and learning of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies or Computer Science from an inquiry oriented perspective. Coursework is integrated with a school field experience to connect theory with practice in an examination of research and current trends.

CI 403: Teaching a Diverse High School Student Population (CI 403) Examines the curriculum and philosophy of teaching students in high school grades. Students will focus on a number of related topics including teaching a diverse student population, including all students in instruction, using technology for teaching high school English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies and alternative means of assessing students' learning. Seminar content will be integrated with coursework in instructional technology, assessment, and special education with high school students. Coursework is integrated with a high school field experience.

CI 430: Teaching Children Mathematics (CI 430) Examines children's learning of mathematics and meaningful instructional methods, representations and materials. Emphasis given to number and operations (including both whole and rational numbers), number theory and statistics/probability. Includes laboratory experience with supervised problem solving.

CI 431: Teaching Elementary Mathematics (CI 431) Examines the organization, scope, and sequence of the mathematics program and the functional nature of mathematics; methods, techniques, experiences, and materials of value in teaching mathematics, and the role of the classroom teacher. Includes laboratory experience, with supervised problem solving.

CI 432: Investigative Approach to Elementary Mathematics Instruction (CI 432) Course will model and examine an investigative approach to elementary mathematics instruction, which is purposeful, inquiry-based, and meaningful mathematics instruction. Particular focus will be given to the teaching and learning of measurement, geometry and algebra/functions.

CI 485: Assessing Student Performance (CI 485) Same as EPSY 485. See EPSY 485.

EDUC 101: Education Orientation Seminar (EDUC 101) Informational orientation seminar for Education majors to enhance their understanding of college life and the field of education as a profession.

EDUC 102: Freshman Honors Seminar (EDUC 102) Provides an introduction to critical issues in education with focus on selected contemporary issues in the field; emphasis is on critical analysis and reflection on relationships between teachers, schools, and society.

EPSY 485: Assessing Student Performance (EPSY 485) Designed especially for secondary education students, this course introduces basic concepts and practices of assessment, measurement, and evaluation as they are used in school settings. The course covers current trends and issues in assessment including large scale standardized testing practices and cultural issues in assessment. Students become familiar with using assessment and evaluation data to inform instructional decisions.