The Jamaica Observer covered the research of SMU’s Leanne Ketterlin Geller, professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development, and her team from Research in Mathematics Education.

Ketterlin Geller is director of Research in Mathematics Education and director of K-12 STEM Initiatives, Caruth Institute for Engineering Education.

Research in Mathematics Education is partnering with the Jamaican Ministry of Education and the Inter-American Development Bank to implement a pilot program aimed at supporting parents’ involvement in math education at home.

The goal of is to improve outcomes for children in the earliest grades and to drive activities that incorporate math into everyday family life, fostering confidence and knowledge that carries forward into the classroom.

Ketterlin Geller’s research and scholarship focus on supporting students in mathematics education through application of instructional leadership principles and practices. She has served as Principal Investigator for federally and locally funded research grants emphasizing the development of formative assessment procedures in mathematics and valid decision-making systems for students with diverse needs in the general education curriculum.

The Jamaica Observer article published Sept. 24, 2015.

Read the full article, “Parents targeted under pilot project to improve math scores.”


Jamaica Observer

The Ministry of Education yesterday launched a pilot project to determine how mathematics training for parents can improve the performance of students in grades one and two.

The two-year project will be administered in May Pen and surrounding communities in Clarendon and will impact some 1,600 households. Training for parents will be carried out through partnership with researchers from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

This initiative, being undertaken through support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Embassy of Japan, aims to ramp up teaching and learning outcomes in mathematics, said Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites at the launch held at his Heroes Circle office.

The expectation is that the initiative will enable the country to achieve the target of 85 per cent mastery of numeracy in the Grade Four Numeracy Test. The target date has pushed back from 2015 to 2018. This year, students achieved 65.7 per cent mastery in numeracy, which is an 8.1 per cent increase over last year.

“We welcome the project. Parents are a critical group whose buy-in is essential to the attitudes children adopt towards the learning of mathematics. We believe that if parents lose their phobia and ignorance of mathematics, they are likely to encourage their children to do the subject and assist them in doing their schoolwork,” Rev Thwaites noted.

The project is to determine what mode of engagement works best for the mentoring of the parents towards improvement in the teaching and learning of mathematics for students.

Coaches and trainers will be identified to work with parents, who will be drawn from beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education.

Read the full article, “Parents targeted under pilot project to improve math scores.”

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