CueThink Wins Major Award to Develop and Research Executive Function Supports in Math Problem-Solving Solution

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CueThink has been awarded a $1.35 million award from EF+Math to design and develop over the next three years a learning system that embeds executive function (EF) supports within high-quality math content and instruction. This work will focus on understanding the science behind how students learn, and building the most powerful solution from that evidence base. The product will be built with an equity focus from the ground up, by co-designing with educators who champion the excellence of Black and Latinx students and students.

"We need mathematical spaces that honor and validate students that have often been relegated to the margins. I am excited about CueThinkEF+ and its potential to inspire young people who have had negative mathematical experiences, to find new possibilities in this important subject." -Dr. Aris Winger

CueThink has been awarded a $1.35 million award from EF+Math to design and develop over the next three years, a learning system that embeds executive function (EF) supports within high-quality math content and instruction. This work will focus on understanding the science behind how students learn, and building the most powerful solution from that evidence base.

EF skills are critical to engage in rigorous math problem-solving, and create a path to student agency and empowerment. The proposed project, CueThinkEF+, combines EF scaffolds, metacognitive thinking, problem-solving, social presence, and discourse in one package. The product will be developed for learners in grades 6–8 who have been traditionally underserved in K–12 schools. CueThinkEF+ will be built with an equity focus from the ground up, by co-designing with educators who champion the excellence of Black and Latinx students.

CueThink has brought together leaders in the field of math access and equity, math curriculum, executive function and metacognition to help achieve this vision. Founder and CEO Sheela Sethuraman, who serves as the Principal Investigator, says, “We are honored to have been chosen and are excited to collaborate with so many prolific researchers, practitioners and thought leaders to develop a solution that is centered around equity and student voice. EF+Math is not just a funder but an active partner in this work and has assembled a remarkable team of advisors to support our efforts. This award is a validation of CueThink’s baseline platform and the potential for it to serve as a vehicle for cutting-edge research.”

Dr. Sam Rhodes, Assistant Professor of Elementary Math Education at Georgia Southern University, and Dr. Rick Bryck, Dean of the School of Education Research and Innovation at Landmark College, both serve as Co-Principal Investigators. According to Rhodes “By allowing all learners to access, solve, and discuss rich mathematical tasks, CueThinkEF+ positions students as doers of mathematics and teachers are able to reinforce and build off of the experiences that students bring to the classroom.” “CueThinkEF+ has tremendous potential for increasing access to deep learning of math for ALL students”, says Bryck. “It will achieve this by uniquely combining executive function scaffolds, Universal Design elements, and structured student discourse to foster student metacognitive and problem-solving skills.”

CueThink is partnering with Illustrative Mathematics, a well-respected math curriculum author, to integrate components of its rich and rigorous IM 6–8 Math curriculum within the CueThinkEF+ application. The core R&D team also includes Dr. Stephanie Carlson and Dr. Phil Zelazo, leading executive function researchers at University of Minnesota, along with equity experts, Dr. Aris Winger, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Georgia Gwinnett College and Co-Founder and CEO of Mathematics Enrichment through Diversity and Learning (MEDAL), and Dr. Sarah Sword, Head of the Center for Inquiry and Equity in Mathematics at Education Development Center (EDC). Winger says, “We need mathematical spaces that honor and validate students that have often been relegated to the margins. I am excited about CueThinkEF+ and its potential to inspire young people who have had negative mathematical experiences, to find new possibilities in this important subject.”

For more details about the project, contact info@cuethink.com

About CueThink
CueThink has developed a math supplemental instructional and formative assessment solution, incorporating peer collaboration. The platform teaches critical thinking and problem solving to students in grades 2-12, helping them excel in conceptualizing and solving rigorous math problems in-class and at home by providing a consistent language and structured methodology. CueThink is built on a strong pedagogical foundation based on decades of R&D in learning science and pedagogy around math instruction and student learning. The company has received funding and market support from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program with multiple grants, as well as from LearnLaunch, New Schools Venture Fund and MassVentures.

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Pamela Shwartz
CueThink
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