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Two-thirds of the Way to Understanding Math

Posted by on Monday, November 29, 2010 in Around the Mall, Winter 2010.

Improving math instruction for elementary and middle school children experiencing problems with fractions is the focus of a $10 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, a research branch of the U.S. Department of Education.

Among the collaborators in the new Center on Improving Mathematics Instruction for Students with Mathematics Difficulties, to be administered by the University of Delaware, is Lynn Fuchs, Nicholas Hobbs Professor of Special Education and Human Development.

Collaborators on the project with Fuchs are Nancy C. Jordan, a professor of education in Delaware’s School of Education, and Robert Siegler, a professor of cognitive psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. The researchers will partner with local school districts, including Metro Nashville Public Schools, to conduct the research.

The five-year project, which began Sept. 1, focuses on understanding how students learn fractions concepts, how to explain individual differences in development and ways to enhance understanding and performance.

Fuchs’s research for more than 30 years has focused on assessing the efficacy of mathematics and reading interventions for students with learning disabilities and understanding the student characteristics associated with responsiveness to those interventions.

“I hope to design interventions that promote better mathematics learning, specifically in the area of fractions, for students with learning disabilities,” Fuchs said. “The goal is for these interventions to be useable in real school settings.”


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