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Project Info: Creating A Community of Mathematics Learners
staff: Ramesh Gangolli (Principal Investigator)
Virginia Stimpson (Co-Principal Investigator)
Rosemary Sheffield (Project Director)
Loretta Kelley (Evaluator)
Barbara Gilbert (Lead Staff)
Mike Gilbert (Support Staff)
Christopher Fraley
grant award #: 9555691
funding began: 09-01-1996
funding ends: 08-31-2001
project focus: Math
grade levels: Middle School,High School
venue type: Suburban
abstract: Building on a prior-planning grant, this five-year project aims at systemic and lasting change in the way in which mathematics is taught in middle and high schools in six school districts in and around Seattle, Washington. It is based on the belief that creating a community of learners which supports ongoing exploration and improvement is critical to meeting the challenge of providing quality mathematics program for all students. This project involves all 595 middle and high school teachers of mathematics in the six targeted districts. The project's three major goals are: (1) to provide all middle and high school teachers with at least 132 hours of professional development designed to deepen their knowledge of the mathematics they teach, as well as to increase their understanding and appreciation of successful models of pedagogy, exemplary instructional materials, successful uses of technology, and various issues of assessment; (2) to set up a continuing culture of dialogue and discussion between mathematics educators at all levels (K-16) in the region, aimed at improving the learning environment in each school, with the mathematics teachers in each school acting as the team that spearheads change; (3) to inform parents and the community at large about the goals and methods of standards-based mathematics education, and help them to become effective partners in the enterprise of ensuring excellence in mathematics education. This collaborative project is a partnership between the Department of Mathematics and the College of Education at the University of Washington, and the Bellevue, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Northshore, Seattle, and Shoreline School Districts. The 310 middle school teachers and 285 high school teachers participating in the project engage in academic year workshops and discussion sessions, summer institutes, informal working sessions, optional workshops for special purposes (e.g., Internet sessions), and parent and community outreach meetings. A continuing electronic user group is an important strategic component of the project.