Making Everybody Count
(1992 - 1996)
"Making Everybody Count" is a current program designed to enable well- prepared middle school mathematics teachers from the state of Arizona to develop new pedagogical competence and leadership abilities. The main focus of Making Everybody Count: Transforming the Middle School Mathematics Classroom is reflected in its title. This venture involves University of Arizona faculty helping middle school teachers with innovative ideas of how to use problem solving and technology in their teaching; the teachers' principals also become involved and provide support for the participants; the teachers encourage students and parents to become actively involved in learning mathematics; and the community supports the idea that mathematics and other science fields should be open to all groups, including women and minorities. Making Everybody Count is a sequel program to Making Math Count.
Making Everybody Count has funding for three years from NSF. For each of the three years, a different group of thirty middle school mathematics teachers from throughout Arizona will spend four weeks one year, and two weeks the next year, at a summer institute learning methods for getting their students to become actively involved in solving problems, using computers in doing mathematics, and connecting mathematics with its uses and with success in future careers. Participants receive a total of six graduate credits for their work. The institute is designed to provide the participants with an array of tools to improve their students' competence, confidence, and interest in mathematics. An emphasis is placed on how to encourage minorities and women in developing their mathematics skills as these are traditionally underrepresented groups in the sciences and engineering. The Making Everybody Count institute makes extensive use of materials developed by the EQUALS project of the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley.
A year long series of activities follows the first summer Institute in order to support the implementation of Institute techniques and materials in the classroom and broaden the impact of the program in participants' schools and districts. During the academic year, each participant will attend regional meetings with project staff, visit other participants' classrooms, make inservice presentations, and write articles for the project newsletter.
The project will also involve participants' principals in the Institute. This will help to maximize the impact of the project not only by providing additional support to participants during the implementation year but also by creating a mechanism which will amplify the momentum for change begun by the project.
In administering these programs, the University of Arizona Department of Mathematics teamed up with the University of Arizona Women's Studies Program. Women's Studies has been active in the projects through their interest in increasing the participation of women in mathematics and science related fields. Everyone involved in the administration of the programs felt that equity issues should be addressed in the programs as teachers needed to pass this important message of equity to their students so that they would understand that an active learning of mathematics is worthwhile.
Making Everybody Count is a successful, replicable program. Reasonable start- up funds would be $10,000 for release time, to travel, and to write proposals. An appropriate bare-bones pilot project (30 teachers, one summer) would require at least $40,000.