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.
The Zambia QUESTT Project aims to improve the quality of basic education delivery systems and to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on children’s educational experiences (both in and out of government schools). To accomplish these objectives, QUESTT is leading several initiatives to improve teacher practice through the integration of Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) in government schools and technology-based interventions. These interventions include the use of video and cell phone communication for both in-service and preservice teacher support.
The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) and developmental psychologist Herbert Ginsburg have collaborated on a project that uses video to help teachers look clinically at their early childhood students’ individual learning needs, particularly in mathematics. Through the project, Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL), CCNMTL and Dr.
In collaboration with EDC’s Division of Mathematics Learning and Teaching, this project is producing a research-based professional development curriculum focused on geometric thinking in the middle grades. It also creates a framework designed to help teachers better understand geometric thinking and how it develops in learners, a curriculum for professional development in geometry based on this framework, quantitative and qualitative studies of the curriculum’s impact, and research reports disseminating the results of this work.
The WEEA Equity Resource Center was a national center that for 25 years promoted gender-equitable education for all students. The center offered educators and others a range of resources to help make gender equity a reality in the classroom and in educational systems, focusing especially on equity for girls and women who face multiple barriers due to gender and race, ethnic origin, disability, or age. The center’s funding ended in 2003 and select resources and information continue to be available through the achieved Web site.
EDC developed a set of Web-based materials designed to give secondary students a mathematics research experience: working on a hard problem over time, developing their own models, experimenting, conjecturing, proving results, and extending the problem. Mathematicians served as electronic mentors for students and teachers who participated in the project.
EDC uses the Developing Mathematical Ideas professional development curriculum to help school systems build capacity for in-depth professional development in elementary mathematics. The DMI Network conducts summer institutes and maintains an electronic network for teacher educators and teachers who, through an apprenticeship program, wish to become teacher educators.
EDC is collaborating with three universities to study how classroom teachers in grades four through eight can provide access to a rigorous, standards-based curriculum to students with disabilities. Over five years, REACH is developing and studying instructional approaches that support all students as they engage in challenging content learning in language arts (EDC), mathematics (University of Puget Sound), science (University of Michigan), and social studies (University of Delaware). The project has a special focus on the discourse practices that students use in learning rigorous content.
This project developed, field-tested, and disseminated professional development materials for teachers of grades 6 through 12 for use in a variety of settings. Through immersion experiences in algebra, geometry, and probability/statistics, the materials emphasize and integrate mathematical thinking, effective teaching practices, and explicit connections to exemplary curricula.
The K–12 MCC provides a variety of services and products to support school districts around the country as they select and implement standards-based mathematics curricula. Implementation issues considered include transitions across grades K through 12, professional development, and building support for curriculum change. Resources include a series of seminars, print materials, (including a curriculum selection guide), case materials, and a Web site.
EDC has created a searchable, browsable Web site of mathematics problems and problem sequences for students in grades 6 through 12 so that they can develop both conceptual understanding and technical skills. The site supports online discussion of the problems and allows new problems to be added. Research will show how and why teachers use the site and how to design curriculum to meet their needs.
The objective of Boston University’s PROMYS program is to engage high school students and their teachers in rich mathematical explorations. The academic-year component of PROMYS, run by EDC, aims to ensure that teachers who participate in the summer program will transfer its culture of mathematical exploration to their schools.
EDC developed Impact Mathematics, a middle school mathematics curriculum that includes a full year of algebra by the end of grade 8. Based on Access to Algebra, materials developed in Australia, the curriculum is rooted in principles of active learning and includes geometry, statistics, probability, and algebra. A teacher’s guide provides classroom strategies and information about the historical background of the mathematics.
This project is designing, producing, and pilot- and field- testing three modules to add to a K-6 professional-development curriculum called Developing Mathematical Ideas. The new modules cover the topics of geometry, measurement, and data analysis and help teachers both learn the mathematics content for themselves and explore how children approach it.
This project developed Web-based materials to support the national America Counts initiative, in particular, mathematics materials for use in mentoring K–9 students. Also developed were training materials—both print and video—to support coordinators of mentoring programs.
This project, a research collaboration with the University of Wisconsin and State University of New York at Buffalo, investigates how students of different ages develop an important cluster of geometric ideas—patterns, units and repetition, transformations, and symmetries—in classrooms where students use specially designed software integrated with other learning experiences.
NEIR*TEC helps state and local educational leaders address the many challenges involved in using technology effectively, emphasizing the needs of schools in underserved urban and rural communities. NEIR*TEC, one of 10 regional technology-in-education consortia, serves the six New England states, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Building on the work of EDC’s Addressing Accessibility in Middle School Mathematics, this project designs and implements a professional development model and materials that enable mathematics and special education teachers to successfully support students with disabilities in regular mathematics classrooms. The model includes workshops, example lesson adaptations, and school-based study groups. Project staff work with schools that use standards-based middle school mathematics curricula.
dot-EDU was an information and communication technology (ICT) intervention mechanism for USAID Missions seeking to improve education systems in their respective countries. dot-EDU sought to assist developing countries in strengthening learning systems that improve quality, expand access, and enhance equity through carefully planned applications of digital and broadcast technologies. The dot-EDU mission had two foci. First, dot-EDU provided training and technical assistance to support USAID Missions in developing and implementing technology-assisted applications.
EDC’s Gender, Diversities, and Technology Institute works at the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, culture, and sexual orientation seeking to understand how technology can support the development of democracy and human rights. Projects focus on increasing participation in and distributing ownership of the “new knowledge society” brought about by emerging technologies.
The project will create instructional materials, for use in seminar settings with teams of school and district leaders from middle and high schools, to support school and district leaders who are experiencing increasing pressure to improve the mathematics performance of students in their schools–at a time of raised expectations for all students’ enrollment in algebra and more participation in higher-level mathematics courses in high school.
The MathScape: Seeing and Thinking Mathematically Curriculum Center provides support to school districts using the MathScape curriculum. The center offers training institutes and workshops, hosts a Web site offering online support, develops implementation materials, and disseminates information about the curriculum’s effectiveness.
The FunWorks is a digital library of career exploration resources for youth ages 11 to 15. The FunWorks provides “real world” experiences and uses children’s current interests and passions, such as music and sports, to help them explore exciting future careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The site was designed for and by children—over 300 young people have participated in the design and launch of this one-of-a-kind collection from the initial concept to design, usability testing, and launch.
This project is producing, piloting, and disseminating the Seeing the Connections curriculum modules. The curriculum helps preservice teachers develop important mathematical knowledge and skills required in their future careers—designing effective lessons, emphasizing certain ideas over others, connecting ideas across the grades, understanding germs of insight in students’ questions, and placing topics in the precollege curriculum in the broader mathematical landscape.
The Center for Improving Technology in Education (CITEd) supports general and special education teachers, specialists, and administrators in developing systems that effectively integrate instructional technology so that all students achieve high educational standards. CITEd provides this support through innovative professional development, technical assistance, and Web-based resources.