GEAR UP TN and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission awarded $75,000 to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to conduct professional development that will enhance the content knowledge and teaching skills of current high school math teachers in Meigs, Grundy and Hamilton counties. The GEAR UP TN Mathematics Education Grant will provide high school math teachers the opportunity to partner with higher education faculty, learning instructional best practices and effective use of technology in the classroom.
“The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is pleased to partner with UTC in the effort to increase academic rigor in high school math courses,” said Dr. Richard Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. “By providing professional development opportunities to high school teachers, we are not only impacting current students, but we are creating sustainable changes in the school systems.”
UTC’s project, Mathematics Navigations and Technology in Support of Algebra I and II, will focus on inservice and preservice teacher professional development as an agent to effect change in the grades 9-12 classroom.
“Through one, week-long summer workshop, and online, follow-up activities throughout the fall, 30 teachers will focus on algebra tasks from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Navigations series, calculator technology to assist in graphing for problem solving, algebra tasks with technology from The Geometer’s Sketchpad series, computer technology to assist in graphing on spreadsheets and use of Java applets, and selected readings applicable to the algebra classroom,” said Dr. Deborah McAllister, UTC professor and project director.
Project activities were selected to improve the content knowledge and teaching skills of participants, and, in turn, improve their students’ knowledge and skills in algebra courses.
Meigs and Grundy counties are part of GEAR UP TN, a federal grant program designed to increase the number of students enrolling and succeeding in college. UTC also elected to invite Hamilton County to participate in the professional development.
In September 2005, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission was awarded a $21 million (over six years) GEAR UP grant by the U.S. Department of Education. GEAR UP TN, which directly serves nine counties across the state, provides services to students and their families, educators, and community and business leaders to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Partnering together in the development and implementation of GEAR UP TN are the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Board of Regents, The University of Tennessee System, and a host of other consultants and local/regional partnerships.