National Research Center for Career and Technical Education Expands Math Program

by Devin Katayama on March 13, 2012

The University of Louisville’s National Research Center for Career and Technical Education is trying to expand a mathematics program it launched to improve student achievement.

The center began a program called “Math-in-CTE” in Kentucky and three other states in 2006 to provide structure to schools that teach math alongside technical education. More than a dozen states and districts have currently adopted the program for their career and technical education schools.

The program helps integrate math into the various curricula, said program manager Jennifer Sawyer.

“CTE students…a lot of time they don’t like math, or they went into agriculture because they don’t think they’re good at math, they don’t think they’re good at the academics, but then they realize you have been doing this pretty advanced math all along, you just didn’t know what to call it,” she said.

The program finds areas of technical education that cross with curriculum math, and then encourages development of those areas. The research center’s facilitators then help teachers develop a curriculum over ten days throughout the year that the different subjects can use in the classroom, said Sawyer. The facilitators are important to the equation because they over see that the Math-in-CTE principals are established.

“Sometimes those CTE teachers are, at first, a little bit apprehensive about teaching math because they’re not sure..its been a long time since they’ve had a math class,” Sawyer said.

The center will host representatives from at least four states next month.

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