'Math for All': Now Every Student Can LearnPosted by Elisabeth Jakab on June 01, 2012
Math for All is a ground-breaking multimedia professional development math program that utilizes collaboration between special education and general education teachers to provide high quality, standards-based math instruction for grades K - 5 to all students, including ESL students, those with disabilities, and others with different learning styles.
Meeting the 'Equity Principle'
The program was developed and field-tested over several years by Bank Street College and the Education Development Center, an international research and development organization based in Waltham, MA. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, and published by Corwin Press, it was undertaken to meet the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ “Equity Principle” for teachers to meet the math needs of all children.
The program is structured so that district staff developers in both special and general education can co-teach the Math for All five-session “course” in schools throughout their district over the school year.
Collaboration is the Key
Says Hal Melnick, one of the program’s authors:
One outcome of the project has been a heightened awareness of the important knowledge owned by two sets of professionals: the special education and the general education teachers. The general education teacher brings a strong sense of the whole math curriculum for the year and offers ways to schedule and plan for deep learning to an entire group of students. The special educator has been trained to focus on individual learners and to anticipate the strengths and needs students with disabilities bring to a task.
Math for All provides a structured opportunity for schools to change their culture so that both groups plan their lessons to equitably meet every child's needs. Both sets of professionals, when planning together, create something that is impossible for one or the other group to master alone.
Dr. Babette Moeller, Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Children and Technology, Education Development Center.
Dr. Karen Marschke-Tobier (1942-2008), formerly Director of Bank Street’s Early Childhood Special Education Program, and a child therapist in private practice.