Building on the Success of Critical Issues in Mathematics Education Workshops

This project will convene two workshops, held in 2015 and 2016, which will focus on developmental mathematics and other critical issues in mathematics education. The workshop will frame critical issues; draw attention to issues of diverse participation and success in mathematics; and provide images of productive engagement for participants to draw upon as they return to their professional communities.

Award Number: 
1461358
Funding Period: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 to Friday, March 31, 2017
Full Description: 

Improving mathematics education in the US will require the commitment and input of many professionals, including research mathematicians. Engaging research mathematicians in mathematics education requires supporting productive participation of mathematicians by fostering an understanding of critical issues in mathematics education and the capacity for working across professional communities. The conferences will be designed and implemented by one of the premiere mathematics institutes positioned to continue its example of substantial and disciplined engagement of mathematicians with mathematics educators toward the improvement of mathematics education. The design of the conferences will allow the mathematics and mathematics education community to address issues that are vital to the improvement of mathematics education in the US, with a focus on engaging mathematicians systematically in this work. A special emphasis will be on engaging department chairs and other leaders in the mathematical community in this work to broaden the impact of the work. These conferences will continue and build upon prior successful strategies with new innovations for engaging the mathematics community to increase the awareness and activity of mathematicians to make productive contributions to mathematics education, working across professional communities, to be active stewards of the field. The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

The goals of the two workshops are to recruit key individuals in the mathematics and mathematics education research communities to work together for the improvement of mathematics education; frame critical issues; draw attention to issues of diverse participation and success in mathematics; and provide images of productive engagement for participants to draw upon as they return to their professional communities. The design of the conferences is based on a program logic model that the recruitment and productive engagement of mathematicians and mathematics departments in critical issues of mathematics education nationally will increase our understanding of how to involve mathematicians in education work in a systematic, informed, and salable way, and will lead to more mathematicians constructively supporting mathematics education. The conferences, held in 2015 and 2016, will focus on developmental mathematics and other critical issues in mathematics education. An internationally renowned Education Advisory Committee (EAC) will charge a group of lead organizers to refine a set of guiding questions that will provide coherence for the planning, selection of speakers, and activities. A cross-section of mathematicians and mathematics educators, including those representing leadership and teams in both communities, will be invited to participate. The lead organizers will finalize a plan of action developed in consultation with the conference participants and EAC, to be disseminated online and to serve as a focus of the conference reports. The conferences would be rigorously evaluated to inform the organizers and the broader community on whether innovations in the conference design support increased mathematicians' involvement and study the hypothesized sources of impact via survey and interviews with mathematicians and other participants.

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