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Engaging with Parents and the Public: Lessons Learned Ruth Parker Mathematics Education Collaborative

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging with Parents and the Public: Lessons Learned Ruth Parker Mathematics Education Collaborative"— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging with Parents and the Public: Lessons Learned Ruth Parker Mathematics Education Collaborative

2 Outline Brief overview of the context of MECs community engagement work and components of the model Brief look at the content of our Community Math Nights What we hear from parents, community and business leaders and others Looking ahead: proposing a partnership that can turn the tide and advance mathematics education here in Washington State Hearing from you regarding the proposed plan

3 Our Working Premises 1. Public engagement necessary 2. Public will be supportive 3. Uninformed left vulnerable

4 1. Single events The Context 2. Five-year implementation of MECs full community engagement model The five-year model has been implemented in Colorado, Oregon, and the Greater Birmingham Area of Alabama, and is currently being implemented in six school districts in Washington State.

5 Mathematics Education Collaborative Public Sessions Administrators Math Content Coursework Math Support Team External Leadership Internal Community Business Advisory Committee Higher Ed Partnership National Advisory Board

6 National Outreach To assure alignment with national efforts, MEC has worked with a prestigious National Advisory Board throughout the development and implementation of our community engagement model. Jo Boaler, Stanford University Nicholas Branca, San Diego State Unviersity Ramesh Gangoli, University of Washington Millie Johnson, Western Washington University Harvey Keynes, University of Minnesota Glenda Lappan, Michigan State University Steve Leinwand, SDE, Connecticut Jan Mokros, TERC, Massachusetts Erwin Morton, Palo Alto, CA Judy Mumme, WestEd, CA Judith Roitman, University of Kansas Deborah Schifter, EDC, Newton, MA Barbara Scott-Nelson, EDC, Newton, MA Virginia Thompson, Family Math, El Cerrito, CA

7 The public - parents, teachers, administrators, legislators, members of the press, business and community leaders and others - need ongoing opportunities to learn: Community Math Nights That their own math education has, for the most part, ill- prepared them to use math successfully in todays world That the ability to reason with numbers is essential to being an informed citizen today Why and how math programs and textbooks need to look different from what parents experienced That skills can and should be learned and practiced in motivating, engaging, and mathematically important contexts How to help their child with math at home

8 Participants are asked to respond to the following questions. 1. Overall, how would you rate this session? 2. What, if anything, surprised you during the session? 3. What do you think was the most important idea(s) in the session? 4. Is there anything else you would like us to know? Community Math Nights

9 What We Hear from Parents, Business Leaders and Others They are surprised and excited to learn that there can be many ways to solve a math problem. They understand the need to teach mathematics not just arithmetic and algebra. They want skills to be taught and practiced in mathematically engaging and relevant contexts rather than in isolation through timed tests and rote drill. They wish that they had had opportunities to learn through programs such as Investigations In Number, Data and Space. They want their children to have these opportunities. They want to see persistence valued over speed in math programs.

10 What We Hear from Parents, Business Leaders and Others cont. They like number talks and want their children to learn to reason with numbers. They understand that problem solving and critical thinking skills are vital to their childrens future. They want to know how to help their children with math at home. They want teachers to have more opportunities to learn mathematics. They want to learn more mathematics themselves. They do not want their children to experience the kinds of instruction that have caused widespread fear and dislike of mathematics.

11 Administrator To me its just like a three-legged stool. If youre missing one of the legs you tip over. With parents who are informed and passionate about what they want for their kids, teachers ready to speak to these needs, and administrators on board at the same time, then you have a smooth, cohesive wave ready to approach math reform. You cannot have a total reform without all the players at the table. Helen Nolan, Principal, Portland, OR

12 School Board Director My encounters with MEC over the past year have transformed my notion of good mathematics education. I stand in awe of the work and its relevance to our kids and their wellbeing. Our kids are benefiting every day from the insights and enthusiasm our teachers get from the summer content courses. Robert Coffee, Mt. Vernon, WA,MD, math tutor

13 Parent In Japan we have a phrase me-kara-uroko which means a fish scale fell off the eyethats what happened to me tonight. I cant wait to share this with my kids. Parent, Palo Alto, CA

14 University faculty from the mathematical sciences and teacher education attend MEC courses alongside K-12 teachers and work with us to study teacher learning. University mathematics departments host a colloquium series devoted to addressing the needs of K-20 mathematics education. Pre-service teachers take MEC courses alongside K-20 teachers and are placed for their practicum in classrooms with teachers who are working to advance their practice. University / MEC Partnerships

15 Ideas for turning the tide in WA State Visible and proactive statewide partnership among TMP, 2 and 4-year colleges and universities, MEC, OSPI, WAToToM, WSMC,… to: (1) develop large numbers of mathematics education leaders; (2) engage communities throughout the state; and (3)secure broad public support in Washington State and beyond. Prestigious state and national Advisory Board(s) that includes members of the media, legislative representatives, leading mathematicians, leading mathematics educators, and business and community leaders Launch with a media blitz MECs community engagement work offered as sites for learning for statewide leaders who are part of the partnership Partnership seminar series hosted by UW math department More sophisticated use of technology Strong research and evaluation efforts to study, document and disseminate the partnership work

16 Next Steps 1.Secure partnership commitments. 2.Seek funding. Can we submit a proposal(s) to the Gates foundation? Intel? NSF? that will present a new vision of collaboration to build a statewide infrastructure designed to advance mathematics education. 3.Revise the UW MSP proposal with an eye toward strengthening the partnership and increasing public visibility. 4.… 5.… 6.…


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