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The Eastman Scholar Mathletes project is built on a strong partnership among East Tennessee State University and seven school districts in Northeast Tennessee: Bristol, TN City, Hawkins County, Johnson City, Kingsport City, Rogersville City, Sullivan County and Washington County. (These school districts represent Eastman's Putting Children First (PCF) partnership.) The project seeks to address the changing and more challenging state math standards by increasing teacher content and pedagogical knowledge, increasing student learning, increasing the number of teachers participating in standards-based professional development, providing training on standards-based resources and materials, and increasing the number of highly-qualified mathematics teachers. The project consists of a summer component and an academic year component. The summer component trains 65 elementary and middle school math teachers (grades 3-8), during a ten-day, 55 hours of instruction, summer institute on the campus of East Tennessee State University, followed by on-going, sustained follow-up professional development and training activities for each participant during the academic years.
Between sixty and seventy new teachers are added to the program each year. The project currently has more than a hundred mathematics teachers in a continuing and growing network of customized professional development. In addition to an intensive summer workshop, participants are heavily involved in follow-up in-service training during the academic year (on school site). Math coordinators from each of the aforementioned school districts provide ongoing support for teachers by visiting each participant throughout the academic year. During these visits the math coordinators offer in-service sessions and serve as a resource for each teacher participants. An important part of follow-up visits is to teach model lessons and to observe teachers to confirm pedagogical practices and to ensure lessons are aligned to state math standards. The specific components of the project address the Tennessee curriculum math standards, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Focal Points, needs of local partnerships and school improvement plans. The ultimate outcome of the project is to increase student achievement in math and improve avenues for sustained professional development.
The Eastman Scholar Mathletes project will put a face on math reform in the aforementioned school districts. Operationalizing our goals and objectives will demonstrate commitment to show how that commitment translates into real efforts and activities to change the culture, practices, and policies. The project justifies interventions based on a thorough needs assessment. The project stresses the critical role of math teachers in reform through a large investment in professional development, attending to teachers' content knowledge and skills as necessary for substantive changes in teaching and learning. In contrast to grade-level mastery objectives, which are endpoints for learning, the Eastman Scholar Mathletes math project will focus on instruction that will help students learn content that gives them conceptual understanding and a foundation for increasing their understanding as they encounter richer and more challenging mathematics (at the high school level). The partnership will also build credibility among key constituents, including university math faculty and school administrators and use these interventions to demonstrate commitment to change. In particular, the project will monitor and evaluate our interventions. As we establish data systems and track quality and impact, the information will be used by the school districts to show that the impact of the project is producing desired results and achieving the goals and objectives of the project.
For more information about this program please contact Dr. Anant Godbole at email@example.com. If you are a math teacher in one of the aforementioned school districts, please contact Dr. Godbole, or your school system math coordinator or math specialist.