Holy Cross Receives Grant to Work with Worcester Area Schools

Local math teachers to reap benefits of workshops

WORCESTER, Mass. – The department of mathematics and computer science and the education department received a three-year $240,000, Improving Teacher Quality grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.  The grant will allow the College to conduct workshops that will encourage the professional development of local mathematics teachers at the middle and secondary school level. The workshops will begin in the fall of 2010 and run through 2012.

“The project will address the growing trend of students who arrive to college unprepared for collegiate mathematics,” explains Danuta Bukatko, professor of psychology, chair of the education department, and administrator of the grant. “It will provide a professional development opportunity for secondary and middle school mathematics teachers from the Worcester public schools, the diocese of Worcester, and the Wachusett Regional school districts.”

The workshops will stress foundational concepts that are essential to numerous mathematical topics and will equip teachers with the tools to encourage flexible and analytical thinking that is necessary at the collegiate level.

David Damiano and Catherine Roberts, professors of mathematics with several decades of experience in teaching introductory college mathematics courses, will teach the workshops.  In addition to focusing on content knowledge, the project will include regular structured opportunities to discuss with teachers research on the cognitive skills associated with successful mathematics achievement in college, transformative pedagogies in mathematics, and expectations of students held by teachers of college mathematics.