NSF INCLUDES DDLP: Math FACESS (Families & Communities Empowering Student Success in Mathematics)
This NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilot will improve math achievement among elementary school students of color in public schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Recognizing the need to coordinate efforts related to students' math and science achievement, key stakeholders formed the NM STEM Ecosystem, a dynamic network of cross-sector partners committed to making real impact on STEM education and degree attainment in Albuquerque. The NM STEM Ecosystem identified the math achievement gap between low-income students of color and their more economically-advantaged peers as the Broadening Participation (BP) Challenge it would address first. While math achievement gaps between students of color and Caucasian students appear nationally, the situation is particularly dire in New Mexico. In order to keep doors open to future STEM careers, it is crucial that learning pathways for math are articulated early and that these pathways honor families' cultural ways of knowing. The innovative strategy of Math Families & Communities Empowering Student Success (Math FACESS) is to use a collective impact approach to close the math achievement gap by connecting formal and informal STEM educators around a coherent, multi-faceted program of early mathematics teaching and learning that empowers parents and teachers to support children's mathematical development. Implementation of Math FACESS includes four major components: 1) Teachers at two pilot schools will participate in professional development related to Math Talk and Listening; 2) Parents at the pilot schools will participate in parent workshops and community-based activities focused on supporting their children's math achievement; 3) Project partners will implement community-based family activities organized around a theme of Twelve Months of Math; and 4) Ecosystem partners will study what worked and what didn't, in order to identify best practices that can be shared with system leaders to scale effective practices and increase impact.
The near-term objectives for Math FACESS are: 1) improve students' attitudes, practices, and achievement in math; 2) improve parents' attitudes, practices, and confidence in math and increase their utilization of family math resources; 3) improve data-sharing among partners related to math participation and achievement; and 4) create pathways within the Ecosystem for family math learning. The effectiveness of the collective impact model and impacts on partner organizations also will be assessed. Through the math FACESS Launch Pilot, the NM STEM Ecosystem plans to: 1) demonstrate the power of a collective impact social innovation framework to address a systemic community condition -- in this case, the math achievement gap; 2) contribute to theory-of-change research that demonstrates student achievement can be affected by working with parents and teachers; and 3) provide a model that values different ways of knowing and uses cultural context in the design of STEM learning opportunities for students, families, and schools.
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