Warner School lands $2.2 million grant

By NATE DOUGHERTY - 8/28/2012 2:39:21 PM

The University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education has been awarded a $2.2 million grant that will allow it to help school districts implement new national standards and improve mathematics instruction.

The grant comes from the National Science Foundation and supports the school’s work with math teachers throughout the region, UR officials said. Jeffrey Choppin, associate professor in teaching and curriculum at the Warner School, will lead research in designing instructions that address the Common Core math standards.

New York and 44 other states have adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, a national move designed to improve teaching and learning. It requires teachers across the country to align their curricula and teach to more rigorous standards, especially in the middle school years. 

The goal is to make students college- and career-ready by the time they graduate from high school, UR officials said. But Choppin said there is still little known about how teachers understand and draw from curriculum resources to support the learning of more rigorous content. 

“We are pleased to receive this important award,” Choppin said. “The research supported by the National Science Foundation is designed to help us understand the needs of and ways in which teachers understand and use curriculum materials to enact these new national standards, with the goal of increasing the mathematics achievement of all students, particularly those traditionally underrepresented in mathematics-related professions.”

The grant funding will help UR publish principles for curriculum developers to design teacher resources. A sample of 72 sixth- to eighth-grade teachers from up to a dozen diverse school districts will be selected to participate in the research, UR officials noted.

“Our research is intended to help teachers as they gain an understanding about how to effectively use available resources and for school districts as they adopt and implement curriculum materials and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics,” Choppin noted. “We hope that our findings will be able to inform the design of teacher resources for curriculum materials and curriculum-related professional development now and in the future.”

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