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Current Projects

The projects listed below are projects in which Penn State mathematics education faculty members are involved in a variety of capacities. Some of the projects are housed here at Penn State, and some are housed at other institutions. For each project, a faculty member's name is listed so you can contact them for further information, but all of these projects are collaborative efforts.

Essential Understandings

Essential Understandings is a project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The first of the project's series of 16 books will appear in 2009. The books are written for current and prospective teachers and engage them with topics in mathematics that are critical to the mathematical development of students, often difficult to teach, and important for student success, immediately and in their later mathematical growth. The materials provide a resource to help teachers and others develop connections and depth of understanding in ways that inform what happens within and beyond prekindergarten through grade 12 mathematics classrooms. Rose Mary Zbiek is the series editor, Gwen Lloyd is a lead author, and all Penn State Mathematics Education faculty continue to provide insight and feedback. Please contact Rose Mary Zbiek for more information.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, an official journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, is a premier internationally respected mathematics education journal focused on research in mathematics education at all levels-preschool through adult. The editorial office for JRME is currently housed at Penn State, with the Mathematics Education faculty as Editor (Kathy Heid) and the Associate Editors (Rose Mary Zbiek and Glen Blume). Please contact Kathy Heid for more information.

Journal of Teacher Education

A faculty team in the Penn State College of Education has been selected as editors of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE). The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is the journal publisher and selected the College as editorial host through a competitive proposal process. Gwen Lloyd and Fran Arbaugh are co-editors, along with Stephanie Knight, who is also a faculty member in Penn State's College of Education. The JTE, in continuous publication since 1950, is the premiere journal for teacher education, providing a vital forum for considering practice, policy and research in the field. Published five times a year, the journal reaches a worldwide audience and is regularly cited in new research. Among 112 education and educational research journals, the JTE was ranked 22 in the Thomson Reuters 2008 Journal Citation Reports. The JTE is AACTE's only journal, published in partnership with an editorial team based at a member institution and Sage Publications, Inc.

Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning (MAC-MTL)

The Mid-Atlantic Center, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is a partnership among Penn State, the University of Maryland, the University of Delaware, and a public school partner in each of the universities’ states. It is the first national center for teaching and learning designed to train a cadre of future mathematics education professors and to conduct research into the knowledge of mathematics teachers. (Follow this link for information about a recent MAC-MTL visit to a collection of historic mathematics textbooks.)  Please contact Kathy Heid for more information.

Improving the Learning of Preservice Mathematics Teachers Through Engagement with Standards-Based Curriculum Materials

This project focuses on developing strategies for using Standards-based curriculum materials in mathematics teacher education courses. By engaging in a range of uses of curriculum materials across the learning-to-teach process, preservice teachers have multiple opportunities to enhance their views of equity, curriculum, teaching, learning, assessment, and technology (NCTM's six principles for school mathematics) while also gaining familiarity and experience with the curriculum materials they will use in their future mathematics classrooms. Gwen Lloyd is the editor, and Fran Arbaugh is a chapter author, of a forthcoming teacher education book emerging from this project. Please contact Gwen Lloyd for more information.

Cases of Reasoning and Proof (CORP) in Secondary Mathematics

The goal of the CORP project is to develop a practice-based curriculum for the professional education of secondary mathematics teachers that: 1) focuses on reasoning and proof; 2) has narrative cases as a central component; and 3) supports the development of knowledge of mathematics needed for teaching. Please contact Fran Arbaugh for more information.

Researching Science and Mathematics Teacher Learning in Alternative Certification Models

This research project examines science and mathematics teacher learning in the context of an alternative certification program designed for individuals with baccalaureate degrees in science or mathematics that employs two different models of field-based preparation. This National Science Foundation funded project is a collaborative effort involving Dr. Arbaugh and mathematics/science education faculty from the University of Missouri. Please contact Fran Arbaugh for more information.

Situations Project

Calls for highly qualified teachers of mathematics have emphasized the importance of high levels of mathematical knowledge. There is a growing understanding that there is a special kind of mathematical knowledge that teachers-particularly secondary school teachers-need if they are to be proficient. The question remains as to the nature of the mathematical proficiency that secondary mathematics teachers can productively use in their teaching (including all parts of teachers' work such as planning, lesson implementation, and assessment). The Situations project is a collaboration between mathematics education graduate students at Penn State and the University of Georgia and mathematics education faculty (including Rose Mary Zbiek, Glen Blume, and Kathy Heid) at both universities to create a framework for Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching at the Secondary Level based in classroom practice.  The framework is based on a set of Situations, which are practice-based tools that build on provocative, mathematical events from practice by exposing and describing mathematical knowledge that might be of use to teachers in similar settings and situations.