ALMA’s mission is to help adults gain basic reading, writing, and math skills. ALMA creates innovative, educationally sound, and entertaining television-based teaching materials and cultivates community networks to support ALMA learners. TV411, ALMA’s magazine-format television series (with ancillary print materials and an instructional Web site) is aired on more than 100 stations nationwide.
EDC is a partner in the launch of a new Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL), an initiative led by California-based SRI International in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago. The five-year, $4.5 million effort is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Cyberlearning program.
Working with science and education professionals, a group of youths will design, build, and staff a virtual science center. Over the course of the project, the youth will acquire Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) knowledge and a range of information and communication technology (ICT) competencies. EDC will conduct the project’s evaluation, looking at the youth’s understanding of science concepts and their development and articulation of ICT workforce skills.
EDC is cosponsoring the 9th annual Massachusetts STEM Summit for policymakers, educators, and business leaders to discuss education initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and progress on implementation of the statewide STEM plan. The summit will be held October 18 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The Somali Interactive Radio Instruction Program (SIRIP) provides high-quality interactive audio programs to Somali children attending formal, non-governmental, Quranic and community schools. With the assistance of the audio programs, teachers lead the classes and are thus trained in interactive teaching methods which include stories, activities, educational songs and other forms of active learning pedagogy. Supplemental materials accompany the programs, providing schools with the resources to support sound, primary-level instruction.
Be a Scientist! is a full-scale development project that examines the impact of a scalable STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) afterschool program that trains engineers to develop and teach inquiry-based Family Science Workshops (FSWs) in underserved communities.
The project targets underserved youth in grades 1–5 in Los Angeles and New York, their parents, and engineering professionals. The science activities are provided in a series of FSWs that occur in afterschool programs in eight partner schools in Los Angeles and at the New York Hall of Science in New York City.
The Common Core State Standards mandate mathematical habits of mind, which are ways of approaching and thinking about mathematical problems. EDC has two high school curricula specifically organized around mathematical habits of mind and strategically designed to help high school students develop these mathematical ways of thinking.
The CME Project and Transition to Algebra both use curricular devices-written dialogues occurring among a cast of students with different “mathematical personalities” and visual images of mathematical thought experiments.
The Lesson Study Communities project provides two years of professional development and support to teams of middle and high school mathematics teachers who are involved in the lesson study model of professional development. The project operates in the Greater Boston area.
Enhancing knowledge of mathematics and pedagogy
Introducing teachers to lesson study
Building a community of teachers interested in lesson study
Learning how the Japanese lesson study model can be adapted to become a successful professional development model for U.S.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, Mathematics for Teaching is a joint project of EDC, the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) of the Institute for Advanced Study, and the PROMYS for Teachers program of the Mathematics Department of Boston University.
Mathematics for Teachers provides specialized mathematics curriculum materials for in-service mathematics teachers. Courses are designed by EDC and PROMYS and delivered to the PCMI participants by specially trained secondary teacher-leaders.
Think Math! is a K–5 curriculum developed, piloted, and field-tested by EDC.
Think Math! provides:
A learning-by-doing model of professional development. This model allows teachers to gain a more profound understanding of fundamental mathematics through the natural course of their daily work.
High-quality mathematics content and pedagogy for school districts. This curriculum is appropriate for school districts that want to change but need additional help and for those that have tried and rejected other models of reform.
Foundations of Algebra focuses on the verbalization and justification of generalizations about the behavior of math operations in elementary-grade classrooms. Such a focus prepares students for algebra at the same time that it supports the development of computational fluency.
The project consists of three stages:
Experienced teacher-writers will produce readable and informative accounts of their work with students as they develop, represent, and justify general claims across a full school year.
The project’s multidisciplinary research and development team has been investigating whether the integration of a specific kind of computational model i.e., simulations into a high school science curriculum, can support students from diverse academic, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds in developing computational literacy—a capacity to understand relationships between domain knowledge and the mathematical, algorithmic, and modeling processes that are the building blocks of computational science.
Through the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Knowledge Management and Dissemination (KMD) project, EDC collects, synthesizes, and shares knowledge from the field of mathematics and science education and MSPs.
In this project, CSE draws on its own and other resources at EDC to provide technical assistance to the management of the Presidential Award program. Every year, that program honors exceptional science and mathematics teachers from every state. CSE facilitates the program’s work in several ways. Staff connects the project with national science and mathematics leaders who take a role in the awards process.
The Enhanced Assessment project is a federally funded 18-month project that supports New England states in their development of large-scale assessments that address the needs of students with disabilities and English-language learners.
Although standards-based reform has increased the rigor and quality of mathematics education, those reforms have not been fully available to students with physical, developmental, sensory, and learning disabilities. One of the reasons for this deficiency is that teachers are not well prepared to implement the reforms with groups of students who have different needs, capabilities, and learning styles.
The Urban District Collaborative, a consortium of EDC, SRI, Bay Area Research Group, Policy Studies Associates, and mathematics directors from nine urban school districts, has built a National Math Directors Network to focus on the collection and use of evidence in shaping district policies on teachers’ instructional practice. The network convenes regular seminars and provides support for district-based research and evaluation.
The National Science Foundation has funded the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Local Systemic Change (LSC) and Urban Systemic Programs in K–12 mathematics and science. EDC is performing an evaluation of the programs. The evaluation is formative, shaping the work of teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators, and summative, looking at the impact of the work on teaching, learning, and district policies.
The Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (Ford PAS) program includes an interdisciplinary high school curriculum that challenges students academically while also developing their problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills.
Facilitator institutes prepare a national group of prospective facilitators to teach two Lenses on Learning courses, which help school and district administrators support standards-based elementary mathematics instruction. Institute topics include elementary mathematics, the nature of standards-based mathematics instruction, what administrators need to know, and how they learn it.