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The Math Forum Receives NSF Grant to Study Online Collaboration in Preservice Teacher Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT)

Math Forum receives NSF grant

Philadelphia, September 9, 2013

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant nearly $93,000 to the Math Forum for the project, “Online Collaboration to Understand Preservice Teachers' Developing Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT).”

Under the grant, teacher education faculty from four diverse instititutions (Utah State, West Virginia University, Mills College, and St. Petersburg College) will collaborate with The Math Forum to study the development of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) in elementary preservice teachers (PTs) who participate in online math mentoring activities. The study aims to investigate the

The research will investigate the retention and application of this knowledge during the PTs' student teaching experiences in the field. Faculty, along with their PTs, are learning to use the Virtual Fieldwork Sequence (VFS), a structured set of online modules that supports PTs in working with grade level mathematics, identifying student strengths, and providing feedback to students online. A key element of the professional development model and a large part of its uniqueness is that the faculty are reflecting on and analyzing the data and describing the findings from their pilot study, including the impact of the VFS on student MKT.

The research conducted under the grant seeks to yield findings concerning the preservice teacher learning by investigating how MKT might be further developed. One of the outcomes is an online professional development module that is collaborative and focused on developing preservice teachers' MKT. The students involved are non-traditional, underrepresented minority, first-generation college students. The project has an impact on both the teaching approaches of faculty of undergraduate STEM students and the students' MKT both of which are currently recognized as areas of STEM education needing improvement.

Stephen Weimar, director the Math Forum, will serve as PI on the grant; Max Ray will serve as Co-PI. The grant runs through August 2014.