MIND Research Institute Partners with Boeing to Provide Professional Development for Math Teachers

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Boeing’s Gift to MIND Impacts Hundreds of Southern California Teachers Using ST Math

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With practice and support, we’re seeing teachers gain new confidence in teaching techniques that were once uncomfortable or even intimidating for them.

Through a grant from Boeing, the nonprofit MIND Research Institute aims to help teachers excel using ST Math®, a blended learning program designed to boost K-12 math comprehension and proficiency through visual learning. The grant provides specialized professional development to hundreds of Southern California math teachers, and is funding the creation of a new training program.

Boeing’s gift to MIND provides an extensive teacher development course called “Make the Standards of Mathematical Practice Come Alive with ST Math,” to 160 teachers at nine schools in Huntington Beach City School District, who are currently participating in the training. Boeing support is intended to help MIND design and build the professional development program with the goal of demonstrating impact to raise more support for its further scale up.

“Boeing understands that for students to excel, it’s essential to support teachers,” said Daryl Pelc, vice president, Engineering & Product Support, Global Services & Support at Boeing. “MIND’s ST Math program has proven extremely effective at supporting students’ deeper conceptual understanding of math concepts, so MIND is perfectly positioned to help educators translate this conceptual understanding into their teaching practice, as well.”

This training program, specifically for educators using ST Math in a blended learning environment, provides 11.5 hours of professional development in the form of workshops, webinars, in-class lesson studies and coaching sessions over several weeks. But because the training requires teachers to practice the pedagogical techniques in their own classrooms and report back to their peers on how those lessons went, the actual learning time is even greater.

“MIND prides itself on experiences that allow students to 'learn by doing' through ST Math, and with this multi-faceted professional development program, we are bringing that mantra alive for the teachers as well,” said Erich Zeller, manager of instructional consulting at MIND Research. “With practice and support, we’re seeing teachers gain new confidence in teaching techniques that were once uncomfortable or even intimidating for them.”

Additionally, the grant will fund the development, field-testing and delivery of a second course focused on teaching fractions – a widely recognized pitfall for many students. The development of that course will last through the summer of 2015, and be delivered during the 2015-16 school year. MIND Research also plans to develop additional teacher training programs for promoting algebraic thinking in primary grades as well as rates, ratios and proportional reasoning in fourth through eighth grades, as additional funding allows.

To date, 400 teachers total have been through MIND’s first “Standards of Mathematical Practice” course thanks to funding from Boeing and an earlier grant from the Rose Hills Foundation.

MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute is a neuroscience and education social benefit organization, dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND's distinctive visual approach to math and problem-solving is the basis of its innovative, research-proven ST Math® programs for elementary and secondary schools. The visually-based ST Math program has been shown to double or triple schools’ growth rates in math proficiency. MIND's programs currently reach 800,000 students and 31,000 teachers in 2,500 schools in 40 states. For more information, visit http://www.mindresearch.org.

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Christine Byrd
@MIND_Research
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