Current reforms in education place increasing emphasis on broad-based public understanding of the department’s three core fields. The Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology focuses on issues of educational practice and related professions in mathematics, science, technology and cognate human sciences, including the relationships among these disciplines. Among the department’s accomplishments this past year:

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Samuel Powers Scholarship
In the 1940s, Samuel R. Powers assessed the science knowledge of public school teachers and found it wanting. He subsequently devoted his career to ensure that scholars stood at the head of classrooms. Find the Math, Science & Technology scholarship that has your number!

Technology

Nathan Holbert was elected Chair of the American Educational Research Association Advanced Technologies for Learning SIG. Holbert also authored the paper “Leveraging cultural values and ‘Ways of Knowing’ to increase diversity in maker activities,” in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction.

Charles (Chuck) Kinzer retired after a long and distinguished career at TC heading the Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design program.

During a three-day boot camp titled “Teacher Tinker Technology Bootcamp,” Joey Lee introduced more than 30 educators to the power of interactive media in the classroom and its potential for promoting 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, perseverance and self-direction.

Ioana Literat joined the Department of Math, Science & Technology as a faculty member in the Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design Program. Literat published the paper “Interrogating Participation across Disciplinary Boundaries: Lessons from Political Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Art and Education,” in New Media & Society.

TEACHERS GETTING TECHNICAL TC hosted 30 educators for a three-day technology boot camp on the power of interactive media. (Photo: Joey Lee)
TEACHERS GETTING TECHNICAL TC hosted 30 educators for a three-day technology boot camp on the power of interactive media. (Photo: Joey Lee)

Ellen Meier received a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study systemic transformation of inquiry learning environments for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Sandra Okita hosted the 25th Anniversary international RO-MAN conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, on robot and human interactive communication. Speaking at the Conference Banquet, held in the Delegates Dining Room of the United Nations, TC President Susan Fuhrman hailed “a watershed moment in robotics” at which we must see robots as “agents that communicate and assist” in the teaching process.

The department launched a new M.A. program in Design & Development of Digital Games which prepares students to design, develop, implement and evaluate digital games for learning in both formal and informal educational settings.

 

Mathematics

Alexander Karp co-authored History of Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Achievements, Problems, Prospects (Springer 2016), part of the publisher’s series of topic surveys, prepared by the world leaders in the field, which summarize the development of one direction in the International Mathematics Education research. Karp chaired the Topic Study Group at the International Congress in Mathematics Education. He also delivered a plenary lecture at History and Pedagogy in Mathematics: Americas Section’s fall 2015 meeting and a presentation at the Fourth International Conference on the History of Mathematics Education.

Bruce Vogeli published Mathematics and Its Teaching in the Muslim States (World Scientific), part of his ongoing series of edited volumes on mathematics education in different regions of the world. Some 200 of his current and former students presented Vogeli with a portrait of himself by the artist Kim Do.

Erica Walker, an authority on racial and gender equity in mathematics education, student persistence in advanced mathematics, and mathematics education policy, was promoted to Professor of Mathematics & Education. She delivered a plenary lecture at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in April 2016, titled “Spaces for Mathematics Learning: Advancing Equity and Excellence in Schools.”

Nicholas Wasserman was awarded the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program for Improving Undergraduate STEM Education grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant will help fund his collaborative project with researchers from Rutgers University and Temple University to design, implement, and assess the innovative Real Analysis course for preservice and in-service teachers.

Science

O. Roger Anderson was an invited Editor for special issues of two STEM-related international journals: Journal of Computers in Education, focusing on technology-enhanced STEM education, and International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, focusing on neuroscience and education issue (in recognition of his pioneering research in neurocognitive theory in science education). Anderson also reached a publication major milestone, with a total of 300 published papers since his arrival at TC in 1964.

CRITIQUING CLASSROOM COLONIALISM Christopher Emdin argues that traditional classroom methods stifle learning and damage the emotional and academic well-being of "neo-indigenous" youth.
CRITIQUING CLASSROOM COLONIALISM Christopher Emdin argues that traditional classroom methods stifle learning and damage the emotional and academic well-being of "neo-indigenous" youth.

Christopher Emdin received the 2015 Exemplary Multicultural Educator Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education and the 2016 Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association. Emdin published the New York Times bestselling book For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood…And the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education (Beacon Press). Emdin’s publications with doctoral students Edmund Adjapong and Ian Levy are establishing a new area of cross-curricular work focused on using classroom teaching about science to improve health and wellness among urban teens. In addition, the Science Genius program that Emdin created in 2012 with the rapper GZA, in which competing teams of high school students write rap songs incorporating science concepts, has expanded beyond New York City to other U.S. cities and Canada.

[Also read: Smile Before November: In his new book, TC's Christopher Emdin encourages urban teachers to be more like their students — loud, conspicuous and challenging authority]

Felicia Mensah was promoted to Professor of Science Education and chosen to receive the Association of Science Teacher Education’s 2017 Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year Award. Mensah’s research focuses on improving science experiences for urban Pre-K–16 teachers and students. Mensah’s publications included “Positional Identity as a Framework to Studying Science Teacher Identity: Looking at the Experiences of Teachers of Color,” in Studying Science Teacher Identity: Theoretical Perspectives, Methodological Approaches and Empirical Findings (Sense Publishers), and “Sounding Out Science: Using Assistive Technology for Students with Learning Differences in Middle School Science Classes,” in Improving K-12 STEM Education Outcomes through Technological Integration (IGI Global).

Jessica Riccio was promoted to Senior Lecturer. Riccio brought the Northeast American Science Teacher divisions to TC for a conference that featured many students from the Science Education program, covering topics that included immigration and science education, gaming and science, and social justice.

Ann Rivet was appointed two-year Program Officer in the National Science Foundation’s Division for Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings.