Collaborating to Teach Teachers: Mathematicians & Educators Team Up (PDF) Using Partnerships to Strengthen Elementary Mathematics Teacher Education, a 2-day workshop scheduled for December 11 & 12, 2008, is sponsored by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley, CA. The workshop will explore the challenges to and benefits of a collaborative approach to the mathematical education of elementary teachers. A core problem perhaps the central problem for improving elementary school mathematics is the mathematical education of elementary teachers. The historic isolation of elementary teachers’ study of mathematics from their pedagogical preparation is increasingly seen to be both unnatural and ineffective. Indeed, the mathematical education of elementary teachers is inherently interdisciplinary as future teachers seek to gain the mathematical knowledge, the pedagogical knowledge and the knowledge of young students that is needed to become a successful mathematics teacher. Thus, it seems reasonable that an integrative learning approach to mathematical education of elementary teachers could yield substantial benefits. In part supported by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, mathematicians and educators at the University of Michigan, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sonoma State University, and Mills College, have worked to form partnerships that meet the mathematical and pedagogical needs of their students. Faculty from these institutions who have participated in the Collaborative Teaching project will report on their efforts and lessons learned about working together to educate teachers of mathematics. These questions guide the workshop design:
- What mathematical and pedagogical knowledge is of central importance to the preparation of elementary mathematics teachers?
- How can courses and programs for elementary teachers be designed and structured so as to increase teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching?
- What are the barriers, challenges and benefits to approaching the mathematical education of teachers as a partnership among mathematicians, educators, and master teachers?
The audience for the workshop includes mathematicians, mathematics educators, and classroom teachers who are concerned with improving elementary teachers’ opportunities to gain the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching. Participants should attend the workshop in teams of 2-4 that include at least one mathematician and one educator, both of whom are interested in the education of elementary teachers and in learning more about the benefits that can be derived from a collaborative approach to the mathematical education of elementary teachers. Workshop Schedule (PDF) Photo of workshop participants A block of rooms has been reserved at the Rose Garden Inn. Reservations may be made by calling 1-800-992-9005 OR directly on their website. Click on Corporate at the bottom of the screen and when prompted enter code MATH (this code is not case sensitive). By using this code a new calendar will appear and will show MSRI rate on all room types available. The cut-off date for reservations is November 29, 2009. There are rooms available at the Hotel Durant. Please mention the MSRI, and the workshop name (Using Partnerships) when making reservations via phone, fax or e-mail.