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Cultivating Mathematical Habits of Mind in All Students

E. Paul Goldenberg and Mary Fries, Education Development Center, Inc.

Algebra is widely seen as a gateway course and, correspondingly, as a foundation for the workforce and higher education. Participants will learn how several EDC projects—including a logic-building algebra intervention curriculum, a professional development program designed to elucidate the Standards for Mathematical Practice from the Common Core State Standards, and a set of mathematical puzzle apps—are supporting a fundamental shift in algebra preparation, moving toward building the mathematical habits of mind necessary for success in STEM learning.


About the Presenters:
E. Paul Goldenberg, Distinguished Scholar, Education Development Center, Inc.
Paul Goldenberg has over 45 years of experience in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary teaching, teacher education, teacher enhancement, and education research. Throughout, he has focused on developing students’ and teachers’ mathematical habits of mind, and their curiosity, along with their ideas, skills, and understanding. He is widely published and has conducted workshops and seminars on K–12 mathematics and mathematics education, often emphasizing problem-posing as a route to problem solving and more in-depth understanding of the mathematics. He has been the PI of many NSF-funded materials development projects including Transition to Algebra, a habits of mind approach to algebra for at-risk high school students; Think Math!, a comprehensive K–5 mathematics program that supports teachers’ learning as they teach by building their curiosity about math; materials for secondary teacher professional development; a Web-accessible, searchable resource of problem sets “with a point” for secondary-level mathematics; and an innovative high-school geometry curriculum. Goldenberg has spent nearly two decades in classroom teaching—from a second-grade classroom through high school and university. He has also directed research on learning with technologies, including geometry software, graphing software, and programming; research on college students’ learning of linear algebra; and research on the principles for developing curriculum materials (for students) that promote the professional development of teachers. Goldenberg received his BA in Psychology at Brandeis University and his EdM in both Elementary Education and Curriculum and Supervision at Harvard University.

Mary Fries, Curriculum and Instructional Materials Design Associate, Education Development Center, Inc.
Mary Fries designs student and teacher materials for the Transition to Algebra project, a full-year algebra intervention program designed to run concurrently with Algebra 1. She has conducted presentations and professional development trainings on the use of these materials and on cultivating mathematical habits of mind, selected overarching strategies for good mathematical thinking that are in alignment with the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. Fries also writes for the Implementing the Mathematical Practice Standards project, which assists mathematics teachers in understanding and eliciting effective mathematical thinking. She is also helping to design an iPad app extending the mathematical puzzles from the Transition to Algebra curriculum to the digital environment for use in both formal and informal settings. In addition to her work on the above projects, Fries’ interests include “Mathematics Trauma”; the work of Critical Mathematics Education, especially the normalization of mathematics as a “neutral” field; and the role of mathematics education in the perpetuation of racism. Fries is a former high school dean of mathematics, science, and technology and a former mathematics teacher. She has served on the School Board of the New Hampshire Academy for Science and Design, where she chaired the Curriculum Committee. She also served on the Windham Initiative for Renewable Energy, where she supported the installation of a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels at Windham High School, as well as the integration of renewable energy science and engineering into the curriculum. Fries received her BS in Mathematics at Mary Baldwin College, her MA in Philosophy and Religion at California Institute of Integral Studies, and her CAGS in Mathematics Education at Boston University. She is currently studying Mathematics at Harvard University.