Ed Talk with Sarah Powell – Early Math Predicts Later Math: Implications for Intervention
Across grade levels, early math performance predicts later math performance. For example, math performance in kindergarten predicts end-of-year math performance in grades 1, 3, 5, and 8. What does this mean for educators? Educators need to assess students early and regularly to identify students that may need additional math support. Educators also need to provide intervention support early and regularly. With early assessment and intervention, it is possible to change the math pathways for students.
Successful performance in mathematics (i.e., math) requires an understanding of numbers, the quantities represented by numbers, counting, and comparison of amounts. Math also requires an understanding of the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and algorithms for quickly solving such problems. Students must be able to apply their calculation and computation skills to math problems featuring fractions, decimals, percentages, measurement, and algebra. Additionally, students must be familiar with geometric shapes and concepts, as well as positive and negative numbers. Students begin learning math informally as babies and toddlers, and as students learn more about math as they age, these math skills set the stage for later success with math.
Math performance is directly related to employment opportunities in adulthood (Murnane, Willett, Braatz, & Duhaldeborde, 2001), and math outcomes are as important as reading outcomes for success in school. For these reasons, it is necessary to understand how early in a student’s school career educators can identify students who struggle with math in order to provide proper instruction and support. Without identification and support, students may continue to struggle with math throughout middle school and high school. Additionally, difficulty with math may influence college decisions and workforce placement.
Janelle Scott is an associate professor at UC-Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education and the Department of African American Studies. Her research explores the relationship between education, policy, and equality of opportunity. It centers on three related policy strands: the racial politics of public education, the politics of school choice, marketization and privatization, and the role of elite and community-based advocacy in shaping public education.
Carol Fletcher leads WeTeach_CS, a program that has prepared nearly 400 educators across Texas to become certified to teach computer science in K-12 classrooms. Fletcher’s advocacy for STEM education across the state and nation has furthered collaboration among educators, government leaders, and the high-tech industry. A former middle science teacher, Fletcher is deputy director of the Center for STEM Education. She earned her Ph.D. in science education from Texas and has served on the board of trustees for Pflugerville ISD since 2001.
UT College of Education interviewed a few of teachers’ most important stakeholders to see what they have to say about their teachers’ performance. K-12 students chime in with some advice for new teachers to help them connect with their students.
Dr. Adair has published in numerous journals including Harvard Educational Review, Race, Ethnicity and Education and Teachers College Record. She conducts research and lectures in multiple countries, most recently in Austin as part of Blackademics and SXSWedu. Jennifer’s work and expertise can also be found in a variety of news outlets including The Conversation, Washington Post, CNN, and National Public Radio.
This talk considers learning as “opportunities” that are constructed in and translated through white supremacy. Using an historical interrogation provided by the work of Charles Mills, Adair argues that although learning and development are presented as an amoral, biological or even constructivist set of events, their application to children’s lives is one of constructing and reifying personhood and subpersonhood along racial lines.
Using interview data with young children, teachers, and directors in Texas and the particular case of the “word gap” argument, Adair shows how denying children of color certain learning experiences is often justified by a perceived “lack of development.” This denial then prevents children from demonstrating capabilities and contributes to blaming/changing children and families rather than supporting cultural communities and improving institutions and systems.
There are noticeable differences in academics and the employment gap that statistics can show between deaf learners and the general population. Stephanie Cawthon of the Department of Educational Psychology discusses the obstacles and attitudes towards deaf learners that influence their outcomes, and what can be done to combat these. This Ed Talk examines the tyranny of low expectations and the importance of understanding root causes when working to reduce inequities in education.
Stephanie Cawthon investigates issues of equity and access in education from multiple vantage points. Cawthon is a national expert on issues related to standardized assessment and students who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly in the context of accountability reforms such as No Child Left Behind. She is the Associate Director for Research and Evidence Synthesis at pepnet2, a Technical Assistance and Dissemination project that serves individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Cawthon explores assessment issues such as the effects of accommodations or item modifications on test scores for students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
Kevin Cokley has been honored for his contributions to counseling psychology as well as ethnic minority psychology. He actively shares his knowledge and insights through public writing of op-eds and research-based commentaries.