UIC RECEIVES GRANT TO TRAIN MATH TEACHERS
ExxonMobil Foundation has awarded the University of Illinois at Chicago's department of mathematics, statistics and computer science an innovation grant to improve the quality of mathematics education for teachers. The effort will build upon the internationally recognized teacher development program offered by UIC's Institute for Mathematics and Science Education.
The grant, one of 12 announced by the foundation at October's National Summit on the Mathematical Education of Teachers, will provide funds to develop a comprehensive plan for improving both the quality and number of future elementary, middle and secondary school teachers graduating from UIC.
The plan will be developed in collaboration with two local community colleges: Chicago's Truman College and Harper College of Palatine, Ill. It builds upon work by the National Science Foundation-funded UIC-Community College Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation.
Members of the project team at UIC include Philip Wagreich, director of the Institute for Mathematics and Science Education; John Baldwin, professor and interim head of mathematics, statistics and computer science; and Victoria Chou, dean of the College of Education. Other team members include Mercedes McGowen of Harper College and Sheila McNicholas of Truman College.
Wagreich says the ExxonMobil Foundation award confers further recognition of the important work being done at UIC to educate future math teachers.
"The recent National Summit on the Mathematical Education for Teachers was just the first step in a national campaign to see that every mathematics classroom has a well-qualified teacher. We expect to see significant resources devoted to this effort at the national, state and local levels," said Wagreich.
"The summit concluded that mathematical education for teachers should be seen as a partnership between the mathematics faculty and college of education faculty, in addition to recommending greater cooperation between two- and four-year colleges in training math teachers. UIC's work offers an outstanding example of such cooperation."
ExxonMobil Foundation said the mathematics community could become a model for building the kinds of cooperative efforts needed for long-term improvement of teacher education. The Washington, DC-based Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences said it hopes the work at UIC will provide a model for mathematics teacher preparation at an urban, public university.
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