An EDC mathematics curriculum takes a new approach to algebra learning, connecting the concrete procedures of arithmetic to the abstract reasoning that success in algebra requires. Transition to Algebra, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and published by Heinemann, builds on a history of curriculum development at EDC centered on fostering mathematical habits of mind. It is designed to be used flexibly to support algebra in Grades 6—10.
A new research study found that transmedia content—video, online games, apps, and interactive white board applications—can improve mathematics skills in young children. EDC’s Shelley Pasnik discusses the results of the study.
Educators who want to bring technology-infused Common Core lessons to struggling students and those with disabilities can turn to the new website PowerUp WHATWORKS. EDC staff are a part of the team that developed this innovative resource.
Malawi primary schools face issues of large classes, high repetition rates, and teachers who resort to lectures and other marginally effective rote learning techniques to teach crowded classrooms. The Malawi Tikwere! (Let’s go up!) program uses interactive radio instruction (IRI) broadcasts to address these issues and bring student-centered instruction to primary schools countrywide.
EDC is developing and testing a two-year, intensive professional development model for building middle grades mathematics teachers’ facility with formative assessment.
Using a combination of institutes, ongoing professional learning communities, and Web-based resources, this model attends both to teachers’ knowledge of critical aspects of formative assessment and their implementation of formative assessment in the classroom.
EDC is collaborating with Boston University and St. Olaf College to study the mathematical habits of mind (i.e., ways of approaching and thinking about mathematical problems) that secondary teachers use in their professional lives and to develop research instruments for measuring such habits.
EDC is developing an assessment tool to help teachers quickly and effectively diagnose misconceptions students have about fractions and decimals. The Eliciting Mathematics Misconceptions (EM2) Project applies recent advances in cognitive science and mathematics education research to create a set of questions designed to assess these underlying misconceptions in grade 6 to 8 students. EM2 will develop and test an online interface that will record student responses, allow teachers to administer the questions electronically, and produce reports on each student’s misconceptions.
EDC is creating and studying a two year professional development model for middle school mathematics teachers with an emphasis on teaching struggling math students in the areas of fractions and rational numbers.
The professional development is composed of online modules, professional learning communities, and face-to-face workshops. Each of the online modules is one week long and covers:
Supported Literacy for Adolescents is a research-based literacy program. Its goal is to improve reading, writing, and comprehension among both high-risk and typically achieving populations. The program is deeply rooted in standards-based curriculum design, and all components of the program align with national reading and writing standards, as well as selected content standards.
EDC has been awarded more than $14 million in multi-year grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to begin new initiatives or to continue ongoing work to enhance science and mathematics teaching and learning from preschool through high school.
EDC’s EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO) is now offering Common Core State Standards (CCSS) courses in Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) to help teachers and administrators better prepare students for college and careers.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) is one of ten regional laboratories and has a mission to help pre-K–16 educators use the best available evidence to make decisions leading to improved student achievement and reduced performance gaps.
Scratch, developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, allows young people to program their own interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations, and share their creations with one another on the Web. In the process, they have opportunities to learn important mathematical and computational concepts, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively-essential skills for success in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce of the 21st century.
iPuzzle is a planning project to design and prototype a digital learning environment using mathematical puzzles specific to strengthening the transition from arithmetic to algebra for middle school students. The project will also look ahead to embedding the prototype learning environment in a social networking environment. Staff will conduct research focused on usability, student engagement, and developing mathematical habits of mind.
Learning and Teaching Algebra (LTA) seeks to address and resolve the root causes of poor student achievement, namely, incoherence in student curricula and incoherence in teacher professional development. The LTA project focuses on teachers in urban settings who are teaching eighth-grade Algebra 1 classes.
EDC is developing, testing, and publishing Linear Algebra and Geometry, a modular curriculum for high school capstone courses that features three semesters’ worth of topics in linear algebra and its applications.
The Coaching Cycle project is creating an online professional development course for K–8 mathematics instructional coaches in rural areas and small schools who do not have access to regular districtwide professional development.
The course will build participants’ coaching skills through the use of classroom artifacts, such as student work, videotapes, and transcripts drawn from the classroom.
The Coaching Cycle project will also examine how online learning and instructional coaching change teachers’ instructional practices and increase student achievement.
The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program is designed to increase opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and use information technologies within the contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Youth-based projects that have strong emphases on career and educational paths
EQuALLS2 increases access to quality basic education and livelihood skills in areas most affected by conflict and poverty in the Philippines (primarily the Muslim areas in the Mindanao island group in the south). EQuALLS2 is a large-scale project that seeks to benefit 345,000 children and youth in 37 municipalities and four cities by training 37,238 educators and school officials, building the capacity of 850 local education stakeholder groups, and expanding local education resources through public-private partnerships.