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 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.
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 creates informal learning opportunities in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, using the ancient African civilization of Nubia as the context. Components include an exhibit, educational materials (hands-on kits, videos, and discussion guides), a Web site, a CD-ROM, community outreach, and professional development programs for educators in museums, community groups, schools, and libraries.
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.
GSDL provides high-quality digital resources to: (1) help educators promote interest and engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education by learners of all ages, particularly females; (2) encourage learners to pursue science education and future careers in science; (3) provide an inter-disciplinary examination of the role of gender in the creation, teaching, and learning of science; and (4) build community among all interested users for the purposes of inquiry, information exchange, best practices development, and mentoring.
This project addressed gaps in the current state assessment system and explored the following questions: Where are the gaps in the assessment system? Who are the students affected by these gaps? What are the appropriate assessment systems for students in the gaps? After answering these questions, the project developed and piloted an assessment prototype to address the problem and meet student needs. Completed research studies are available on the project Web site.
The ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers ) Learning Resource Center at EDC held a convening to develop a theoretical research framework to guide future research on youth motivation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), with a particular emphasis on populations most underrepresented in the STEM workforce.
Participants focused on two guiding questions:
What is currently known about motivation in STEM for underrepresented youth?
What can be done to cultivate new research around STEM motivation for underrepresented youth?
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) is an online portal for education and research on learning in
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The NSDL Youth Resources project (NYR) is designed to increase utilization of the NSDL by middle school students and their teachers by adding relevant, high-quality and engaging content. The project focuses on the quality, accessibility, and interactivity of content to determine what student’s identify and conceptualize as high-quality online STEM content.
EDC is conducting a two-year pilot study to address critical methodological challenges inherent in doing longitudinal research linking informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences and school achievement: first, addressing selection bias through careful selection of a comparison group that is comparable to the intervention group, and second, developing a qualitative design that both complements and extends the quantitative data collected.
In a letter to the editor, EDC’s June Mark and Bryan Wunar comment on the best time to teach students algebra: “Rather than push for all students to take a formal algebra course at any particular grade level…we should focus on improving students’ algebraic instruction and understanding at all levels.”
In her piece for the new Harvard Ed Letter, writer Laura Pappano speaks to EDC’s Paul Goldenberg and others about the right time to teach algebra, and ways to encourage algebraic thinking in students before eighth grade. Grade school math is “what you do with paper,” says Goldenberg, but paper work is typically about computation and answers, not mathematical reasoning. Presenting problems orally and framing them as a continuation of earlier ideas, rather than a “frightening new language,” can help, he says.