- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758218
- First Name Ale
- Last Name Salinas
- Discipline Mathematics
Boston University’s Enacting Curriculum Through Engaging Discourse (EnaCTED) Math Project, awarded in Fall 2018, is a collaboration between the BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, College of Arts & Sciences, and several high-needs school districts in the Boston area. Research and policy reports such as the MET II (2012) and AMTE’s standards for preparing teachers of mathematics (2017) identify the need for beginning mathematics teachers to have deep content knowledge of the mathematics they will teach in the secondary grades, as well as be well versed in methods of teaching that can support a variety of students. The EnaCTED Math Project provides prospective secondary math teachers with a Master’s degree program and field experiences specifically designed to develop their mathematical knowledge for teaching for work in high needs schools. Additionally, the project is a response to the need for secondary math teachers who can use discourse-based instruction to support student learning by designing focused hands-on workshops in which prospective teachers learn about and practice using discourse-based teaching strategies.
The EnaCTED Math Project’s research questions are as follows. This poster abstract will focus primarily on question #3: In what ways/to what extent does the EnaCTED Math Project recruit and attract a talented and diverse pool of STEM majors and professionals to become secondary mathematics educators? How successful is the EnaCTED Math Project in retaining secondary mathematics teachers who teach in high need schools? In what ways does the EnaCTED Math Project prepare scholars to a) use discourse-based teaching strategies in their mathematics classrooms, and b) implement prescribed or self-designed mathematics curriculum materials that integrate discourse-based teaching practices? How effective are scholars in teaching mathematics in high-need districts during their first two years as classroom teachers?
The EnaCTED project recruits undergraduate and graduate STEM majors and initiates them into a robust and on-going mathematics community of students, teachers, mathematics educators, and mathematicians. Scholars who are in the program or who have graduated from the program return to campus throughout the year for professional development workshops. During these workshops, they learn about cognitively demanding tasks, specific pedagogical strategies for enacting such tasks, and ways of planning for and responding to various student questions or challenges. They also practice using these strategies and tools through role-play and reflection. Other activities for scholars include attending math teacher conferences, working with veteran award-winning math teachers, reflection seminars focused on unpacking artifacts of discourse-based practice, and activities during the Master’s program year specifically oriented toward working in high-need schools.
The EnaCTED project just completed its fifth year. We have collected data from scholars around the types of math tasks they choose to use in their high-needs classrooms (both from prospective and full-time teachers). We have collected interview and pre- and post-survey data from our prospective teachers to identify their needs and perceptions of the program’s efficacy in terms of developing their mathematical knowledge for teaching. We are analyzing these data in the hopes of finding evidence of the role of the project in supporting our scholars’ work in their math classrooms.
We had 28 EnaCTED scholars across the 5 years of the project, plus an additional 10-15 scholars from previous Noyce grant projects who participated in workshops. All EnaCTED scholars have or will be awarded an MAT degree and licensure in secondary mathematics by September 202023. All graduates of the most recent cohort are seeking math teaching jobs in high-needs districts, and some have already secured full-time positions. Our next steps are to focus on our recruitment practices in order to identify a more diverse body of prospective math teachers for our next cohorts.