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Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal (MTRJ) on line:
www.hostos.cuny.edu/MTRJ

The editorial team of the Mathematics Teaching Research Journal on line informs with great sadness about passing away of one of its founding editors, VRUNDA PRABHU 1961- 2013. Her creative spirit will always be with us.

Message to Mathematics Teacher-Researchers of the World;

Colleagues Teacher-Researchers of Mathematics;

Our profession, Mathematics Teaching-Research is standing in front of an unusual responsibility/opportunity to impact mathematics teaching and learning in US and possibly, in the World through the introduction of the Common Core State Standards(CCSM) in Mathematics in 2014 in the nation. Common Core Standards in Mathematics represent an unusual integration of research, curriculum development and teaching practice. The aim of this integration is to provide tools with the help of which mathematics teachers could successfully address successes, challenges and needs of every student in the class while fulfill the dream of “Mathematics for all”.

Whenever there is an integration of research and teaching, the framework of teaching-research is generally most straightforward. Indeed, the success of CCSS in Mathematics is conditioned on understanding of two mutually connected constructs, that of a Learning Trajectory (research construct) and that of Adaptive Instruction (teaching construct) together with the relationship between the two. The relationship between the two turns out to be standard Teaching-Research NYCity model’s relationship that on one hand involves the application of research to classroom teaching, and on the other hand, it is motivated by the research needed for successful development of the teaching “Mathematics for All.”

Analysis of the requirements of the adaptive instruction for the success of CCSS approach show its closeness with the standard teaching-research classroom activity: “For that [success] to happen, teachers are going to have to find ways to attend more closely and regularly to each of their students during instruction to determine where they are in their progress toward meeting the standards, and the kinds of problems they might be having along the way. Then teachers must use that information to decide what to do to help each student continue to progress, to provide students with feedback, and help them overcome their particular problems to get back on a path toward success. This is what is known as adaptive instruction and it is what practice must look like in a standards-based system.” Consortium of Public Research in Education, CPRE (Daro et al. 2011).

Every of these steps of adaptive instruction is in the “tool box” of a teacher-researcher whose aim is to improve student learning (…). Moreover, the same report continues:

“Teachers must receive extensive training in mathematics education research on the mathematics concepts that they teach so that they can better understand the evidence in student work (from OGAP-like probes or their mathematics program) and its implications for instruction. They need training and ongoing support to help capitalize on their mathematics program’s materials, or supplement them as evidence suggests and help make research based instructional decisions.”

The words above outline the scope of the transformation of teachers‘ pedagogy from the standard one to one based on research and evidence. In other words, what is required for the success of CCSS in Mathematics is the transformation of teachers into teacher-researchers on the national scale.

And that is, colleagues, our opportunity to transform teaching on a large scale.
Are we prepared to do it, to assume this responsibility?

MATHEMATICS TEACHING-RESEARCH JOURNAL ONLINE

Winter 2014/2015
Volume 7 N 2

List of Content

Nkechi Agwu
Culture and Women’s Stories: A Framework for Capacity Building in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Related Fields

Rohitha Goonatilake, Katie D. Lewis, Runchang Lin, and Celeste E. Kidd
A Glimpse into the Effectiveness of Mentoring and Enrichment Activities for
Scholarship Recipients in a Teacher Preparation Program

Barbara Ann Lawrence
Constructivized Calculus: A Subset of Constructive Mathematics

Ayalur Krishnan and Max Tran
Contextualized Examples in Constructivist Mathematics Pedagogy

Editorial

This new V 7 No 2 issue of the Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal on line restarts our operation after a year of a slowdown connected with the sabbatical of one of the editors. We offer this time two sets of articles connected to each other. We have two papers on the increase of educational STEM capacity. One is from Nkechi Agwu (BMCC,CUNY) describing her unusual project of connecting mathematics to the symbolism and its meaning of the African tribes. Agwu, similarly as Vrunda Prabhu in the case of India, has built an interesting STEM educational bridge between NYC and Nigeria. The second article in this collection comes from Texas A&M University in Laredo, from where we get the report by Goonatilake et al on the capacity effectiveness of the mentoring scheme in pre-service teacher program. Mentoring has recently awakened interest of the profession as the necessary motivational element for encountering challenging while easing teacher/students entry into profession. Mathematics Department at Hostos CC has introduced mentoring of the peer leaders in some of their classes with a significant degree of impact upon passing rates in the developmental classes of mathematics.

The next collection consists of two papers both focused on the constructivism on Mathematics; one – from the point of view of mathematics research, another from the point of view mathematics teaching. Barbara Lawrence, also from BMCC describes to us the constructivized mathematics arguing that its finitness is an asset for understanding central ideas of calculus. It’s interesting to compare this view with the ideas brought by Krishnan and Tran, the authors of Contextualized Examples in Constructivist Mathematics Pedagogy from Kingsborough CC for whom every day’s reality based problems constitute the essence of the pedagogy. Finitness and concreteness are the common factors in these two different approaches based on common vision of mental constructions.

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