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“Many of the pre-service — or prospective — teachers we work with learned in a procedural way, which will shape how they will one day teach the subject,” says Dr. Leigh van den Kieboom, assistant professor of educational policy and leadership in the College of Education. “Our research is pinpointing specific ways in which pre-service mathematics teachers can build a foundation of knowledge, become more flexible, and enhance their teaching and learning.” For this research, van den Kieboom collaborated with colleagues in mathematics, statistics and computer science, Drs. Marta Magiera and John Moyer, in the College of Arts and Sciences. Together, they published their research examining pre-service middle school teachers’ knowledge of algebraic thinking in the April 2013 issue of Educational Studies in Mathematics.

"If we don't act, we could face some 6,000 unfilled software-related jobs in the state by the end of the decade.”

Students’ achievement closely relates to their teachers’ mathematical knowledge, van den Kieboom emphasizes. She and Magiera have also spent the past three years working with 30 teachers from the West Allis-West Milwaukee school district, a partnership funded by the U.S. Department of Education, to better prepare educators to teach algebra and algebraic thinking. Their recent research findings came just six months before an October 2013 announcement that Marquette was named the lead recipient of a $1 million three-year collaboration to lead an ambitious rollout of a new ninthand 10th-grade introductory computer science course in school districts across Wisconsin. Dr. Dennis Brylow, associate professor of mathematics, statistics and computer sciences, is teaming with Magiera, the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin–Dairyland chapter of the Computer Science Teacher Association to teach computing concepts through enhanced curriculum and provide a pathway for more teachers to become certified to teach advanced computing courses throughout the state.

RESEARCHER

When it comes to finding the formula for educating the next generation of computer scientists and mathematical wizards, a few Marquette faculty members just might have begun to crack the code. It starts by building an engaging curriculum and teacher knowledge base.

Dr. Leigh van den Kieboom Assistant Professor, Educational Policy and Leadership

Finding the formula for high school math and computing instruction

“For years, innovation in information technology has driven economic growth,” Brylow says. “If we don’t act, we could face some 6,000 unfilled software-related jobs in the state by the end of the decade.” BRIAN DORRINGTON

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