National Summit on the Mathematical Education of Teachers:
Meeting the Demand for High Quality Mathematics Education in America

November 2 and 3, 2001, Tysons Corner Doubletree Hotel, Tysons Corner VA

National Summit Information

    Who, When, and Where
    The MET Document
    Overview of the National Summit
    Small Group Working Sessions
    Proceedings of the National Summit
    ExxonMobil Innovation Grants
    Executive Breakfast
    Organization and Contact Persons


The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, which guided the development of The Mathematical Education of Teachers (MET), will launch MET with a National Summit on the Mathematical Education of Teachers. The National Summit is intended to stimulate the mathematics community to make the mathematical education of teachers a national and local priority for the decade. It will engage college and university mathematics faculty in the hard work of beginning to implement the vision of the mathematical education of teachers presented in MET. This National Summit is supported by grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

Who, When, and Where

Mathematics department chairs and faculty, education faculty, and others involved in the mathematical education of teachers are eligible to apply. Strong preference will be given to those who apply in teams--from a single institution or a group of related institutions. We anticipate more applications than space available, so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  From among the applications received, approximately 240 participants will be invited to attend, representing a diverse set of institutions from across the country, including community colleges, liberal arts schools, state and land grant institutions, and major universities. In addition, there will be representation from schools of education and the leaders of the CBMS member societies. There will be an institutional (team) registration fee of $100 and the institution will be expected to pay the transportation costs of the participants. We expect to be able to cover the housing cost for most participants, but this support must be requested in the application. Application Forms are here.

The National Summit will be held at the Tysons Corner Doubletree Hotel, 7801 Leesburgh Pike, Tysons Corner VA 22043, from 1:00pm on Friday, November 2, until 4:00pm on Saturday, November 3, 2001. The Tysons Corner Doubletree is in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, approximately equidistant (25 minutes, 12 miles) from the two Washington airports: Reagan National and Dulles International.

The MET Document

The Mathematical Education of Teachers document is directed primarily at mathematicians and math educators--those who actually teach mathematics to future teachers. It urges mathematicians to recognize their role and responsibility in the education of future teachers and it focuses on issues of mathematical content and the teaching of mathematics.

Two general themes guide MET:
    1) the intellectual substance in school mathematics, and
    2) the special nature of mathematical knowledge needed for teaching.

Mathematics education research over the past decade has highlighted the substantial mathematical understanding that is needed to teach well even basic topics like whole number arithmetic. In particular, the work of Deborah Ball and Liping Ma has helped persuade mathematicians that teaching and learning basic mathematics involves very complex cognitive demands for students and for teachers. MET describes how the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching is quite different from that required, for example, by a future engineer, physicist, or economist, and it provides a practical guide for mathematics departments and mathematics faculty in developing courses which will give future teachers a deep understanding of the mathematics they will teach.

Recommendations--five concerning the mathematics curriculum and instruction for future teachers, three on the need for cooperation among different parties involved in educating teachers, and three advocating policies that support high quality mathematics--appear early in the document, followed by three short content chapters which give a brief introduction to the mathematics needed by teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. These beginning chapters argue forcefully to all faculty that the education of teachers of mathematics should be an important part of the mission of most mathematics departments. Three longer content chapters then give detailed discussions of the mathematics needed by teachers at each of the three levels. These chapters provide a substantial resource for faculty who teach courses for future teachers or who assume a leadership role in designing and offering their department's courses for future teachers.

Overview of the National Summit

The National Summit will be a working conference to introduce faculty and department chairs to the MET document, to offer them good examples of existing efforts to improve the mathematical education of teachers, and to engage them in beginning widespread local efforts to implement and spread the vision of MET.

There will be two major plenary sessions and dinner and luncheon speakers, but the heart of the conference will be the three small-group working sessions that each participant will attend. The plenary sessions and the speakers will frame the issues and problems and set them in a broader context. The working sessions will engage the participants in thinking about how to address the challenges in carrying out the recommendations of the report locally.

Discussions in the working sessions, led by persons with experience and expertise in the topic of the session and grounded in artifacts such as videos, short papers, or student work, will help participants to analyze how the ideas and recommendations in the MET document can be used in designing courses in their own institutions or in forming cooperative programs with other institutions or state agencies. In addition to these sessions focusing on what must be done to change the content of teacher education, there will be sessions that deal with other major influences on teacher education such as licensing and certification, and incentives and rewards for faculty who devote their energies to teacher education.

Schedule - Tysons Corner Doubletree Hotel, Tysons Corner VA

Friday, November 2

1:00-3:15 Opening Plenary Session
        1:00-1:15 Introduction and Overview of the Conference - Jim Lewis
                        Introduction of Joan Leitzel as MC for this session
        1:15-1:30 Welcoming Remarks - Joan Leitzel, President of the University of New Hampshire
                        Remarks from the representative of the Secretary of Education
        1:30-2:45 Presentations and Discussion (3 at 20 min presentation/5 min discussion each)
                        "Challenges in the Mathematical Education of Teachers: Why is the Preparation of
                        Mathematics Teachers so Difficult?"
                        Roger Howe, Liping Ma, and Hung-Hsi Wu
        2:45-3:15 Reactions and Reflections on the Presentations and Charge to Participants
                        Alan Tucker and Glenda Lappan

3:15-3:45 Break (Coffee, soft drinks, snacks - time for teams to meet together)

3:45-5:15 Concurrent Small Group Working Sessions A (12)

5:15-6:00 Break (time for teams to meet together and to allow participants to return to or check into room)

6:00-6:30 ExxonMobil Reception - Drinks and Hors d'oeuvres

6:30-8:30 Banquet
        6:30-6:40 Pre-dinner remarks by Ed Ahnert, President of the ExxonMobil Foundation
        6:40-7:40 Banquet
        7:40-8:25 After Dinner Address by William Kirwan, President of the Ohio State University

Saturday, November 3

7:15-8:15 Executive Breakfast hosted by Joan Leitzel (by invitation)

7:30-8:15 Continental Breakfast (for participants)

8:30-9:45 Plenary Session - "Mathematics for Teaching"- Presentation and Discussion
                Deborah Ball and Hyman Bass

9:45-10:00 Break

10:00-11:30 Concurrent Small Group Working Sessions B (12)

11:30-12:00 Break (time for teams to meet together)

12:00-1:15 Lunch
        12:00-12:35 Lunch
        12:35-1:15   After Lunch Address by Judith Sunley, Senior Advisor to the Director of NSF

1:15-1:30 Break

1:30-3:00 Concurrent Small Group Working Sessions C (12)

3:00-3:30 Break (Coffee, soft drinks, snacks - time for teams to meet together)

3:30-4:00 Closing Plenary Session
        Announcement of First Round of ExxonMobil Innovation Grant Awardees by Ed Ahnert
        Wrap up remarks and reiteration of charge to participants - Glenda Lappan and James Lewis

Small Group Working Sessions  (Click Here for Presenters and Abstracts)

The purpose of these sessions is to engage the participants in thinking about and working toward implementation of the ideas in the MET document.

There will be 18 different sessions, with each session held twice, resulting in 12 concurrent sessions for each of the 3 time slots. Each session lasts 1 and 1/2 hours and has approximately 20 participants. Each participant attends three different sessions during the conference. Assignments are made in advance according to preferences expressed in the registration process.

Each session will be led by an individual or team with demonstrated experience and expertise in the topic of the session. The sessions will involve some presentation, but at least half of the time will be devoted to discussion and engaging the participants in thinking about how the lessons of the session can be applied to their local situation.

The topics of the sessions have been chosen to cover the issues discussed in the MET document.  A listing of the presenters, titles, and abstracts of the working group sessions may be found here.

All presenters will be asked to submit, within two weeks following the conference, a written document which contains the content of their presentations and references for further reading.

Proceedings of the National Summit

An informal Proceedings of the National Summit, including all the written documents submitted by the presenters, will be sent to all participants within several months of the conference. This will also be made available free from CBMS to others who request it. We may consider more formal publication.

In addition to providing participants with copies of the Proceedings of the National Summit, we hope also to be able to prepare a set of presentation materials--transparencies, video tapes, and talking points--which can be used for local presentations.

ExxonMobil Innovation Grants

A major new thrust of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at NSF is the formation of partnerships between institutions of higher education and state agencies responsible for K-12 education. Cooperation between Mathematics Departments and Schools of Education and partnerships between two-year colleges and nearby universities are also essential for lasting improvement of teacher education. In support of the belief that Mathematics can lead the way in providing good models for such partnerships, the ExxonMobil foundation will offer 12 planning grants ($3,000 each) to assist participants in preparing proposals for such partnerships or for innovative cooperative efforts among groups involved in teacher education. A participant team may prepare a short (at most two pages) request for such a grant either prior to the National Summit or within the four weeks following it. Approximately half of the awards (based on pre-Summit proposals) will be announced at the closing session of the National Summit with the other half (based on post-Summit proposals) to be announced about six weeks later. The awards will be made directly to the mathematics department of the participant team. More information about applying for ExxonMobil Innovation Grants is here.

Executive Breakfast

On the morning of the second day of the National Summit, there will be an invitational Executive Breakfast hosted by Joan Leitzel. The purpose is to introduce policy makers, funding agencies and foundations to the MET document and to demonstrate the math community's intent to make the MET vision a reality with their help and support. Invited attendees would include the presidents of several CBMS societies (e.g. AMS, AMATYC, AMTE, ASA, ASSM, MAA, NCSM, NCTM), officials from NSF and the Department of Education, foundation presidents, and selected others from accrediting and policy making organizations.

Organization and Contact Persons

The National Summit is being planned and organized by a Steering Committee co-chaired by Jim Lewis and Glenda Lappan, and including Deborah Ball, Roger Howe, Carole Lacampagne, Mercedes McGowen, and Richard Scheaffer. Jean Moon serves as an advisor from the ExxonMobil Foundation and Jeanne Narum as an advisor from Project Kalaidoscope.

Ron Rosier, Administrative Officer of CBMS, and Lisa Kolbe, CBMS Administrative Assistant, are organizing the logistics of the National Summit. Please contact either of them with questions about the Summit. Michael Breen and Annette Emerson of the AMS Office of Public Affairs are helping with media relations. Please contact either of them if you know of possible media opportunities.