Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Leslie Goodyear

    Leslie Goodyear

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 10:50 a.m.

    What an inspiring video! It's obvious that the attendees at the filmed workshop are engaged, excited and passionate about their work. What do we know about algebra-taking trends and how can those data be used to influence others about the importance of this educational milestone?

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 11:04 p.m.

    Thanks Leslie! The data around the importance of Algebra is out there somewhere-- can someone point us to that? More so than Algebra and other critical school math subjects, the National Alliance that we're working on is also concerned about mathematical literacy for all students- particularly the bottom quartile. This is the heart of the work that you see in the video where teachers, students, parents, community organizers, university educators, mathematicians, and others are coming together to raise a national discussion about how to best understand what to teach, how to teach it, and what/how to assess it. More to come in upcoming meetings/work! Thanks!

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    Nancy Shapiro

    Higher Ed Administrator
    March 20, 2017 | 11:17 a.m.

    "What to teach and how to teach," but also "WHO will teach?" Thank you for this inspiring project.  I am increasingly concerned that our youngest and most vulnerable students are the ones who are least likely to have knowledgable teachers.  How are you addressing the lack of mathematics understanding among elementary school teachers?  I am intrigued by the local, grow-your-own models that find ways to prime the pump by bringing highly talented to high need schools.  Does anyone know of any projects that are doing that?  Starting with elementary school poses the problem of a long time horizon, but it seems to me to be the only way to expand the pipeline for the long term future.

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 11:07 p.m.

    Thats a great question Nancy! Who will teach is a big question that we can't forget and is why we need thoughtful higher ed administrators like yourself who will help to develop this pipeline for a long term future. I also wonder about proven models of developing mathematically literate elementary school teachers who particularly come from the community in which they work in-- can anyone cite any that they know of?

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Director/Research Associate Professor
    March 21, 2017 | 02:16 p.m.

    Hi Marcus - I don't know about "proven models," but I am curious about whether your initiative has an opinion about elementary classroom teachers versus school-based specialists teaching mathematics? I know this has been a long-standing (and unanswered) question in conversations about elementary science.

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  • Icon for: Barbara Rogoff

    Barbara Rogoff

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 01:30 p.m.

    This is such an important project for the success of our nation.  I have wondered whether one way to make things work better for students who struggle with school would be to teach them like in the 'gifted' classes -- using projects that interest them and connect with their everyday lives, with opportunities to shape the lessons according to their interests.  Is there research that would support or refute using this analogy?

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 11:14 p.m.

    I don't know about research to support/refute this, but having taught high school math for over a decade in an urban school district I wouldn't hesitate one moment to approach my classes with the same level of intention, resources, and care that the "gifted" classes receive because our bottom quartile students are our most precious population and if we aren't approaching them with the same level of intention, resources, and care then we'll continue to have such a divide in our inequitable school system. I agree this is the very conversation that our nation needs to engage in as we move forward! Thanks Barbara!

  • Icon for: Barbara Rogoff

    Barbara Rogoff

    Facilitator
    March 21, 2017 | 03:56 a.m.

    Cool!  It seems to me to be a good metaphor, to teach everyone like 'gifted students.'

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  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Director/Research Associate Professor
    March 20, 2017 | 04:39 p.m.

    This inspiring video left me hungry to know what happened in that February meeting (described in the summary). We've seen so many collaborative and collective efforts to bring about change - I'm eager to hear the next steps for this group. What happened? What was said? What is happening next?

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 11:17 p.m.

    I'm glad you felt like that and are eager to learn more Jeanne! There will be a follow up meeting in May with the same folks and in the mean time there are multiple working groups that are furthering the vision for a national design and blueprint on how this alliance can further tackle the essential questions that we talked about in February. If you're interested in getting involved please contact ben@algebra.org and inquire about how to get involved- thanks!

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    Gay Stewart

    Higher Ed Administrator
    March 20, 2017 | 06:41 p.m.

    I echo Jeanne. Further, it sounds like you are working with an inspired group of teachers which is where great things happen for understanding how to prepare future teachers! I am deeply involved in pre-service teacher preparation. I work with high school teachers across all of STEM, but only physics support for elementary teachers right now, although faculty in the WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education are really starting to gear up our research in elementary math and computer science preparation. We would love to talk to you more as you make "how to teach" more concrete. 

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 11:19 p.m.

    Yes! That's so great that you're working with preparing future teachers. Please contact ben@algebra.org for more information about how to get involved in this work-- thanks Gay!

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    Jeremy Roschelel

    Guest
    March 21, 2017 | 07:28 p.m.

    Great to see the Algebra Project and its partners moving forward in this inspiring way. Could you share more on "what and how to ASSESS what is taught and learned in mathematics for students in the bottom quartile" -- what forms or aspects of assessment could contribute to dramatic improvement within your alliance?

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  • Icon for: J. 'Kemi Ladeji-Osias

    J. 'Kemi Ladeji-Osias

    Associate Professor
    March 21, 2017 | 10:26 p.m.

    Your video is definitely very inspiring and has the potential to impact a large number of students. Does your group consider the role of others in the community in supporting math literacy?

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 10:57 p.m.

    Yes! We are definitely thinking about the role of others in the community, specifically community organizers and outside community-based organizations as we work together to develop this strategic plan and blueprint. Do you have any specific ideas on who and how to get others in the community involved in supporting math literacy? We'd love to hear your ideas! Thanks

  • Icon for: J. 'Kemi Ladeji-Osias

    J. 'Kemi Ladeji-Osias

    Associate Professor
    March 21, 2017 | 11:17 p.m.

    There are a number of groups that provide enrichment activities through after-school programs, libraries, museums, etc that may be able to integrate or support classroom learning.

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    Sheryl Clayton

    Parent
    March 24, 2017 | 08:14 a.m.

    It takes a village! 

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 24, 2017 | 01:06 p.m.

    Yes it does!

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  • Icon for: Carl Pettis

    Carl Pettis

    Associate Professor and Department Chair
    March 22, 2017 | 11:16 a.m.

    I love the comment from one of the gentlemen in the piece that spoke to the importance of students learning the value in solving a math problem and not simply learning how to solve a math problem. I would be interested to hear what thoughts were voiced during the meeting to help facilitate this change in approach.

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 24, 2017 | 01:06 p.m.

    Just like Sheryl said, that clip brought home the meaning behind teaching and understanding math-- so well said! There were four main groups working on the questions of "what to teach? how to teach? what/how to assess the teaching?" and they were Students, Teachers, School Leaders, and Community Organizers. The various groups surfaced multiple thoughts on how to facilitate this change in approach and ultimately we're working on this together to propose multiple approaches and strategies from all sides. We'd love to hear any thoughts you might have as well. Thanks Carl!

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    Sheryl Clayton

    Parent
    March 24, 2017 | 08:12 a.m.

    Omg.  Outstanding video! This clip brought home the meaning behind teaching and understanding of teaching Algebra.  As a mathematics teacher as one of the gentlemen said "it is not just multiple 4 times 4, it is knowing how and why you get the answer and most of all problem solving"...... Great job

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 24, 2017 | 01:00 p.m.

    Such a powerful statement! Thank you Sheryl for your voice in this because we are deeply in need of more parent/community voice in how we are together educating our young people. How can parents and families organize around this issue as well and what are new ways in which we can structure our understanding and practice of math in the homes so that schools are an extension and not the other way around? There's so much to this issue and we need to engage it from all sides! 

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    Mark Hoover

    Higher Ed Faculty
    March 24, 2017 | 09:18 a.m.

    I'm a mathematics education researcher and teacher educator, working to improve mathematics teaching and learning within a larger effort to support public education and to establish a right to education as foundational to a democratic, just society.  I'm interested in Gay Stewart's question about "making 'how to teach' more concrete," in particular in ways that simultaneously engage students in the bottom quartile effectively in learning mathematics, convey the nature of the collective Algebra Project endeavor, and prepare them for earned insurgency.   

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  • Icon for: Chris Boynton, EdD

    Chris Boynton, EdD

    March 24, 2017 | 10:25 a.m.

    The video is most inspiring !I love the perspective that we need to engage the student in a deep meaningful way - so deep in fact we must connect with them so that they are interested in the problem.  Might call this Math+

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 24, 2017 | 12:58 p.m.

    I think that is at the heart of the problem-- how do we engage all students (especially the bottom quartile and those who have historically been absent from this conversation) so that they connect with the deeper meanings of math literacy in their life. This extends well beyond the classroom and so our approach has to encompass a plethora of support coming from the school and the community. Let's keep on pushing for a new vision for our students and our country in terms of building math literacy from the bottom up! Thanks for your comments!

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  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Center Co-Director
    March 24, 2017 | 10:47 a.m.

    This is a fabulous video and I am so pleased that it is a part of this showcase. It makes it clear that the program is embedded in a larger movement related to civil rights. I also know that this program has so many aspects to it and has evolved during the years. But I wonder if you can address how you measure your impact in some of the key aspects of the program? What are the key metrics that you use to gauge your progress and success?

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    Joan Wynne

    Guest
    March 24, 2017 | 06:04 p.m.

    Marcus, what a fabulous video you produced! You captured the spirit of the conference as well as the work of folks dedicated to creating excellence and equity in the education of our students, who have been pushed to the margins of an unjust society. Albert Einstein in one of his essays said, "Striving for social justice is the most valuable thing to do in life." I think his comment is particularly cogent in the context of the work of the Algebra Project, The Young People's Project, and The Southern Algebra Project Initiative, as they have for decades integrated social justice work into the work of mathematics. I suspect that most of the people at the conference came not only because of the challenge to replicate models of excellence in mathematical curriculum and pedagogy stolen from our students in the bottom quartile, but also because of their interest in creating models of excellence in a context of justice.

    The breadth and depth of the conference stirred my intellect and my soul and my dreams of a real democratic public school system where gifted curriculum and pedagogy is delivered to all of our students, all of the time.

    Thank you again, Marcus.  Joannie Wynne

  • Icon for: Marcus Hung

    Marcus Hung

    Presenter
    March 24, 2017 | 06:13 p.m.

    Thanks Joannie! I think your comments about the work we're engaged in is right on! We're in this together and I'm glad the video helped to capture and share that commitment. Looking forward to the continued work with you Joannie! 

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We The People - Math Literacy for All
1649342

Drawing from almost three decades of math literacy work and related research, the Algebra Project, Young People's Project and Southern Initiative Algebra Project, together with collaborating organizations, institutions and individuals are coming together through the NSF INCLUDES DDLP opportunity to develop a national Alliance focused on providing a quality public school education for all students, with a particular focus on students performing in the bottom quartile on standardized exams in mathematics. We are engaging a "bottom up" organizing approach which aims to build a national Alliance capable of moving the needle on this challenge facing the country.  More than 120 students, teachers, school and district leaders, university faculty and leaders, representatives from educational organizations as well as parents and community members are convening February 17th-19th, 2017 for a national design meeting to gather best practices in our networks, understanding of what we need to do and what is missing, in relation to what to teach, how to teach it, what and how to asses what is taught and learned in mathematics for students in the bottom quartile. This meeting will generate ideas and identify needed features - with the voices of students and teachers in the center as those most directly impacted by the problem - for a strategic plan and blueprint for the creation of a national INCLUDES Alliance, which will be crystalized in the spring and summer.