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PATHWAYS Undergraduate Research

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Preparing Aspiring Teachers to Hypothesize Ways to Assist Young Students

A Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site
funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

REU Site Abstract

PATHWAYS has two primary objectives:

(1) To develop mathematics teachers who approach classrooms with a researcher’s mindset, making instructional decisions based on empirical data;

(2) To engage aspiring mathematics teachers in systematic formal mathematics education research, thereby providing foundations for participation in mathematics education graduate programs.

Undergraduate research projects that involve designing and testing instructional sessions for K-12 students are the means through which the objectives are attained. Each summer, eight undergraduates work in pairs under the guidance of SU faculty mentors. Each pair meets with a group of four K-12 students once per week to give summer mathematics instructional sessions in the May Literacy Center of SU's Conway Hall.

SU faculty mentors help undergraduates analyze the instructional effectiveness of each session. Each week’s analysis sets the mathematical learning goals and instructional methods for the next week. Undergraduates submit weekly reports describing K-12 students’ learning and a cumulative report describing the trajectory of K-12 students’ learning under the instructional interventions they designed. The cumulative reports help test, extend, and refine current mathematics education research on learning trajectories.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DRL-1356001 and DUE-1658968. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.