Doing the Math: Building a Foundation of Joyful and Authentic Math Learning for All Students

Doing the Math: Building a Foundation of Joyful and Authentic Math Learning for All Students

Efforts to improve elementary school math proficiency and diversity in STEM fields require a shared vision about effective instruction that is then integrated into university curricula and teacher preparation and professional development programs, a report from 100Kin10 finds. Funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation and CME Group Foundation, the report, Doing the Math: Building a Foundation of Joyful and Authentic Math Learning for All Students (85 pages, PDF), examined six issues that influence foundational math proficiency: faculty expertise and instruction, coursework and field experiences, professional growth and instructional support, elementary math specialization, empowering and supportive environments, and perceptions of math. With a focus on the factors that shape the greatest leverage for change — teachers' incentives and rewards, pedagogical practice, exposure and preparation, and professional development — the report offers three cross-cutting solutions: build vision and coherence around foundational math learning across teacher preparation programs, school communities, policy makers, and professional development providers; revise teachers' responsibilities and staffing models so they are not expected to deliver all elementary school content; and bring foundational math into the twenty-first century by recognizing it as a core element in a whole-child educational model.