NEWTON, MA | November 13, 2003
Boston University—in partnership with Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and five Boston-area school districts—has been awarded a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build a mathematical community of expert teachers who will collaborate with university mathematicians and educators in a sustained effort to increase student achievement.
The Focus on Mathematics partnership taps the expertise of Boston University, EDC, and educators from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Lesley University, working with middle and high school teachers in Arlington, Chelsea, Lawrence, Waltham, and Watertown schools.
Leading this effort to improve student achievement are Glenn Stevens, professor of mathematics in Boston University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Wayne Harvey, Director of the Division of Mathematics Learning and Teaching and a Vice President of EDC, one of the world’s leading education research organizations, based in Newton.
“Our ultimate goal is to substantially increase student achievement in mathematics,” said Harvey. “We want students to find math engaging, and intellectually satisfying. We want to give them the kind of world-class mathematics that can only come from teachers who are part of a community of experts in mathematics, teaching, and learning,” Harvey said.
Key to the success of Focus on Mathematics will be the program’s creation of solid, content-based professional development opportunities in the five Massachusetts districts, and a new professional Master’s Degree Program at Boston University, which will serve as a national model.
“Our partnership puts rigorous mathematics at the center of students’ work, teachers’ professional development, and prospective teachers’ preparation,” said Stevens, of BU. “By creating a community of school and university mathematicians and learning and sharing mathematics together we will raise the level of mathematical content in the schools, while improving the quality of mathematics instruction at the university level,” Stevens said.
Mathematics teachers in the partnership will be invited to participate in a range of mathematics-related activities, including summer institutes, study groups, seminars, online courses, and colloquia. A number of teachers will prepare to become Mathematics Teaching Fellows, who will then serve as resources, conducting their own seminars and workshops, and offering on-call support and mentoring for teachers in their schools.