Adapting K-8 Mathematics Curricular Materials for Pre-Service Teacher Education

Principal Investigator: Donna Diaz

Fundamental to this project is the development of a framework for pre-service teachers to enable them to construct a meaningful understanding of the impact of curriculum on teaching and learning. In addition, research is being conducted by the project team to determine if the participation of pre-service teachers in a particular research initiative (with a focus on the algebra strand) improves their content and pedagogical knowledge. The research being conducted by the pre-service teachers in this project includes a cycle of curriculum investigation, experiencing (as learners) lessons adapted from the materials, and observing (as future teachers) classroom teachers and students experiencing the lessons. Particular research initiatives for which the pre-service teachers are engaged involve adapting and modifying standards based K-8 student curriculum materials originally designed to be used to support teaching of K-8 in-service teachers. Adaptive tasks and instrumentation are being developed by the project leaders, and students use these as the basis for their curriculum investigation. An assessment instrument NSF-MSP #0335411 is being adapted to assess student (pre-service teacher) learning. The intellectual merit related to this project is substantial. Pre-service teachers are conducting research on the impact of curriculum on teaching and learning, and the project team, in turn, is conducting and evaluating research on the effects the students' (pre-service teachers') research projects have on their content and pedagogical knowledge. Among the broader impacts of the project is the development of a research informed model for K-12 teacher preparation programs in mathematics as well as other disciplines.

Making Mathematics Accessible to All

Principal Investigator: Donna Diaz

Goal/Strategy: The goal of this project addresses: ARC primary Goal 2-"Strengthen the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy." Strategic Objective 2.3-"Increase access to quality child care and early childhood education." Strategy 1-"Support efforts to initiate and expand early childhood education programs."

The overall purpose of the project Making Mathematics Accessible to All is to strengthen Appalachia's economic competitiveness by providing students with mathematical opportunities that show evidence of closing educational achievement gaps among diverse groups of students and improving the mathematical achievement of all students. By providing young students with mathematical experiences that enable them to develop confidence in their ability to learn and think mathematically, this project will prepare students for participation in higher level mathematics courses in middle and high school, thus making the possibility of higher education more accessible, and the probability of success more likely.

Author: Calvin L. Williams, Mathematical Sciences-Clemson University, Clemson University
Last updated: November 5, 2008
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