Mathematics educators at U-M Dearborn believe students can be more successful in math if improvements are made at the middle school level, grade 48. The Center for Mathematics Education is a new initiative to recruit and prepare high-quality math teachers, and support them with continuing professional development that deepens their understanding of the math they teach, and of the best practices for teaching it.
Recommendations at state and national levels emphasize the importance of middle grades mathematics and the need for strong programs for both teacher preparation and on-going professional development, says Roger Verhey, professor of mathematics and of education at U-M-Dearborn.
The Center was established by the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters and will be directed by Verhey. One of its programs will offer a middle grades mathematics specialty as part of the master of arts in education degree program of the School of Education. This program will have two paths, one for teachers with elementary certification who seek endorsement in mathematics and another for teachers already holding mathematics endorsements or certification who desire to become leaders in mathematics education at the middle school level.
The Center will support local school districts in meeting the professional development needs of their teachers by offering graduate credit courses at a school district site or by designing programs tailored to meet their particular needs.