On Thursday, January 28, at 4:00 pm US-EDT with a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
This time, the subject is math, a subject that absorbs 10-15% of teacher budgets, student time, and curricular attention. Everywhere. All over the world. A K-12 student devotes about 15,000 hours to their schooling--and at least 1,500 of those hours are devoted to mathematics. Is that enough? Too much? Enough, but we're doing some things wrong? Not enough, but everyone must learn x, y, and z where x= (okay, enough of that for the moment). This will be the first of two or several episodes. This time, we're joined by Megan Burton, President-Elect of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. She’s an Associate Professor at Auburn University’s College of Education. Our other guest will be John Ewing, Executive Director of MƒA, or Math for America.
Megan Burton, associate professor of elementary education in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Teaching, has been named president-elect of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. Burton began her career teaching elementary students for 10 years, before becoming a professor. This experience guides her research and teaching. She has been at Auburn since 2012. Dr. Burton’s research interests focus on inclusion, teacher identities, and STEM education. She works with her elementary colleagues to offer a STEM camp for approximately 170 elementary age children every summer. Unfortunately, this summer the camp is canceled, due to COVID-19 concerns, but she looks forward to summer 2021. In addition to the above, Burton has experience teaching STEM curriculum internationally to elementary-age students. The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators is the country’s largest professional organization devoted to the improvement of mathematics teacher education. AMTE includes more than 1,000 members devoted to the preservice education and professional development of K-12 teachers of mathematics.
John Ewing earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Brown University in 1971. From 1973-1995, he was a mathematics faculty member at Indiana University; while there, he served two terms as Chair of the department. He has held visiting positions at Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia, Newcastle University (England), and Goettingen University (Germany). John earned his B.S. degree from St. Lawrence University, which also awarded him an honorary degree. From 1995-2009, John was Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society. In 2009, he became President of Math for America (MfA), a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by American billionaire mathematician/philanthropist Jim Simons. Simon's goal was to promote the recruitment and retention of high-quality mathematics teachers in New York City secondary schools. Thanks to Simons, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, and Professor Ewing, MfA is now thriving in other parts of the United States including offices in San Diego and Los Angeles.
Howard Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.
Before the virus, more than a billion children and teenagers relied upon school for learning. After the virus (or, after the current wave of our current virus), basic assumptions about school and education are no longer reliable. School buildings may become unsafe for large numbers of students. The tax base may no longer support our current approach to school. Without the interaction provided by a formal school structure, students may follow their own curiosity. Many students now possess the technology to learn on their own. And many do not.
Reinventing.school is a new weekly web television series that considers what happens next week, next month, next school year, and the next five years. Hosted by University of Pennsylvania Senior Scholar Howard Blumenthal, Reinventing.school features interviews with teachers, principals, school district leadership, state and Federal government officials, ed-tech innovators, students, leading education professors, authors, realists and futurists from the United States and all over the world.
Each episode features 2-4 distinguished guests in conversation about high priority topics including, for example, the teaching of public health, long-term home schooling, technology access and its alternatives, the role of parents, friendship and social interaction, learning outside the curriculum, the future of testing and evaluation, interruption as part of the academic calendar, job security for teachers and support staff, setting (and rethinking) curriculum priorities, special needs, student perspectives on the job of school, the importance of play, the psychology of group dynamics and social interaction, preparing for future rounds of a virus (or cyberattack or impact of climate change, etc.), college readiness, higher education transformed, the higher education promise in an economically challenged world, and more. Clearly, there is much to discuss; nearly all of it ranks high on the list of priorities for raising the world’s children.