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Partnership members are creating a sustainable collaboration between freshmen Algebra teachers and Career Technical Education teachers aimed at improving test performance for low SES freshmen.
Project Purpose: Algebra in Context (AIC), a three-year Math Science Partnership, seeks to address an achievement gap for low SES freshman studying Algebra I by applying research-based, mathematical teaching practices in three distinct contexts--mathematics, science, and career technical education (CTE). The project targets ten teachers from the School of IDEAS, one of three Gates-supported small schools (< 400) at North Eugene High School (NEHS), who deliver coordinated instruction in algebraic reasoning to approximately 300 freshmen in a three-year, non-tracked algebra program.
Participants: Between 30 to 50% of entering freshmen receive free or reduced lunch. Approximately 60% of freshmen score at the 25th percentile or lower on eighth grade test scores in reading, writing, math, or science.
Project Description: Ten teachers participated in a professional development model during the year consisting of three components: (1) Develop teacher participants’ Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT); (2) Analysis of classroom audio and video interactions in order to understand and improve teacher practices related to algebraic reasoning (including but not limited to classroom norms, environment, and pedagogy); and (3) Implement a friendly, collegial, teacher-team atmosphere using the Critical Friends model.
Project Findings to Date:
Project Successes: The School of IDEAS made a systemic change in mathematics instruction by reorganizing the course schedule for incoming freshmen in the 2009-2010 academic year. The School pairs each of three Algebra courses with one of three CTE courses creating a year-long treatment connecting algebra concepts to CTE projects and visa versa. Teacher teams meet weekly with OSU staff to develop a sustainable process that makes algebra more concrete in both the CTE and Algebra classrooms.