AIMS Center for Math and Science Education is part of a project with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools to improve math education by educating teachers and parents as well as students.The county received an $11.2 million California Statewide Early Math Initiative Grant. Fresno is among the California counties where students are underperforming in math, according to statewide assessment tests. Statewide, only 38.65 percent of students meet or exceed standards in math. This grant targets California’s youngest students to give them a solid foundation for future learning.
“There is increasing awareness of the importance of early mathematics learning. But there is still a lack of clarity as to what mathematics children should be learning and how teachers and parents can best support them,” said Paul Reimer, AIMS senior researcher.
AIMS will join a collaborative effort between FCSS, the California Early Math Project, WestEd and film producer Les Mayfield III. For its portion of the grant project, AIMS will develop a statewide strategy to unite county offices of education, infant/toddler and preschool programs, local educational agencies, teacher associations, higher education, state agencies, administrators, teachers and parents to:
- Build the math knowledge of teachers, care providers and parents
- Fill the gaps in math education between early education, K-12 and higher education programs
- Develop and disseminate math education strategies and resources
- Develop a model for teacher coaching and leadership throughout California
The centerpiece of AIMS’ work is the teacher leader, director and administrator program, a multi-year professional development training for early childhood directors, coordinators and lead teachers to emphasize the importance of early mathematics education. The program’s goal will be to improve early mathematics education and address the sociocultural and linguistic differences in California communities.
Participants will study and develop multiple ways to provide accessible opportunities to all children and families that tie into the state’s Infant/Toddler and Preschool Learning Foundations and the California Common Core Math Standards and Practices. Activities will include a week-long training seminar at the AIMS Center in Southeast Fresno during the summer and monthly network meetings. Each participant will also engage monthly with a group of early childhood educators. Technology, ranging from social media to robotic telepresence—where individuals can “beam” into meetings using drivable robots—will connect these cohorts across California to share resources, harness promising strategies and maintain a cohesive implementation.
Credit for continuing education or a Master of Arts in Math or STEM Education will be offered through Fresno Pacific University.