Mathematics

Jessica Young

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Jessica Young

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Jessica

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Young

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Jessica Mercer Young is dedicated to providing equitable learning opportunities for all children, with a particular focus on vulnerable and at-risk populations. An expert in child development, her research focuses on the intersection of developmental science and early childhood education, investigating the ways in which families, teachers, and schools promote children’s mastery motivation—persistence at challenging tasks, mathematics learning, and problem-solving skills.  Her work provides new insights into early childhood learning and teaching, with an emphasis on the link between teachers’ mathematics anxiety and beliefs about learning to child outcomes.

Currently, Young and co-Principal Investigator (PI) Kristen Reed are leading a National Science Foundation-funded study, Games for Young Mathematicians, that is examining the potential of a game-based professional development intervention to promote children’s mastery motivation and mathematics learning. The intervention facilitates teachers’ understanding of children’s mathematics development using developmentally appropriate, challenging, mathematics games and activities, and gives them effective strategies, using mathematics games and activities, to support children’s growth mindset and persistence. 

Young is also co-PI, with Reed and Heidi Rosenberg, of two projects funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation, Family Engagement in Early Mathematics and the Teacher Practices Observation Study. These projects examine how a professional development model can support teachers in engaging families in early mathematics activities through at-home games and mathematics mini-books that align with the mathematics games teachers are using in the classroom.

She is also an expert on the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO PreK) toolkit; leading Train-the-trainer seminars and professional development institutes across the country.

Young has coauthored publications on mastery motivation, early childhood mathematics education and teacher professional development, including “Mother-child Interaction as a Predictor of Mastery Motivation,” “Play Games, Learn Math! Explore Numbers and Counting with Dot Card and Finger Games,”Mastery Motivation: Persistence and Problem Solving in Preschool,” and “ Use of a Storytelling Context to Improve Girls' and Boys' Geometry Skills in Kindergarten” and “Building a Classroom Community that Supports English Learners in Preschool”. In addition, Young and her colleagues have created resources for teachers and parents that are available on the Young Mathematicians website.

Before joining EDC, Young taught preschool.  She received a BA in psychology from Boston College, an EdM in human development and psychology from Harvard University, and a PhD in applied developmental and educational psychology from Boston College.

 

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Research Scientist

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Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2728

Jess Gropen

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Jess Gropen

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Jess

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Gropen

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Jess Gropen specializes in basic and applied research in cognitive science with a focus on language learning, early science development, and mathematics education. His current work on executive function in science, mathematics, and the language arts builds on exciting findings from contemporary research in cognitive science. (Read a blog post by Gropen about the importance of executive functions in learning.)

Gropen is the Principal Investigator of Literacy and Academic Success for English Learners through Science (LASErS), an Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) development project designed by EDC to boost the academic success of pre-K through Grade 1 English learners in Hartford, Connecticut by providing their teachers with professional development, engaging their families in enriching their science and literacy learning at home, and establishing a cadre of district, state, and national leaders to sustain and scale LASErS. He also serves as an evaluation advisor to EdAdvance on Skills21STEMStarter: An Incubator and Launch Pad to STEM Entrepreneurship and Careers, a National Science Foundation ITEST project. Previously he was the principal investigator of the IES-funded Cultivating Young Scientists project.     

Gropen is the lead author of "Foundations of Science Literacy: Efficacy of a Preschool Professional Development Program in Science on Classroom Instruction, Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and Children's Observations and Predictions." 

Before joining EDC, Gropen was an assistant professor at McGill University and Simmons College.  He received a BA from Pomona College and a PhD in cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Research Scientist

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2455

Examining the Behavior of Operations: Noticing Early Algebraic Ideas

Wed, 12/01/2010

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The book Mathematics Teacher Noticing: Seeing Through Teachers' Eyes examines research on the particular type of noticing done by teachers—how teachers pay attention to and make sense of what happens in the complexity of instructional situations. "Examining the Behavior of the Operations: Noticing Early Algebraic Ideas," a chapter in this book, presents the case of a third-grade teacher to illustrate noticing of algebraic content in the curriculum and in students' mathematical ideas.

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Developing Algebraic Thinking in the Context of Arithmetic

Mon, 03/07/2011

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Susan Jo Russell, Deborah Schifter, Virginia Bastable

EDC's Deborah Schifter and coauthors have identified four mathematical activities that underlie both arithmetic and algebra and, therefore, provide a bridge between the two. These are understanding the behavior of the operations, generalizing and justifying, extending the number system, and using notation with meaning. These themes emerge from content at the heart of the elementary mathematics program and can be highlighted and pursued by teachers who learn to recognize the opportunities that arise in their classrooms.

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Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making in Algebra

Fri, 04/09/2010

Author(s): 

Karen Graham, Al Cuoco, Gwen Zimmermann

EDC's Al Cuoco is coauthor of a book examining the five key elements (meaningful use of symbols, mindful manipulation, reasoned solving, connecting algebra with geometry, and linking expressions and functions) identified in Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making in more detail and elaborates on the associated reasoning habits.

Focus in High School Mathematics

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78pp.

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Habits of Mind: An Organizing Principle for Mathematics Curriculum

Wed, 05/01/1996

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This paper describes the "mathematical habits of mind"—ways of thinking, mental habits, and reserch techniques that mathematicians draw on—that form the core of EDC's Mathematical Practice Institute's approach to developing mathematics curriculum.

Mathematics Teacher

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Fostering Algebraic Thinking

Thu, 07/01/1999

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Drawing on his experiences with three professional development programs, the author outlines key "habits of thinking" that characterize the successful learning and use of algebra. He offers strategies teachers can use to cultivate these habits of thinking and guidelines for assessing students' development. Each chapter features activities to encourage teachers to reflect on how they think about algebra and how that thinking informs their practice.

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176 pp.

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NSF Funds What’s Cooking? for STEM

The National Science Foundation has awarded $2 million over two years to create a free public online multimedia resource serving up STEM concepts to adults with low levels of literacy and numeracy. “TV411 What’s Cooking?” puts on the front burner the biochemical, physical, and mathematical processes at play in our home kitchens, in the news, and in our lives, while offering multiple and engrossing opportunities for informal science education designed explicitly for the much-neglected audience of undereducated adults.

Last Updated: October 2010

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NSF Grant for Math-Teacher Professional Development

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The National Science Foundation has awarded EDC a four-year, $2.1-million DRK–12 grant to create and study a differentiated professional-development model to help middle-school mathematics teachers and special educators teach struggling math students, especially in the areas of fractions and rational numbers. The differentiated model includes online modules, professional learning communities, and workshops to address teachers’ wide range of knowledge and classroom practices. For more information, contact Amy Brodesky.

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FACETS Summer Institute Kicks Off

Last week, EDC hosted its first Summer Institute focused on its NSF-funded FACETS project, or Formative Assessment in the Mathematics Classroom: Engaging Teachers and Students. Twenty-nine teachers from four school districts around New England attended, and each has committed to participate for two years in all project-related activities.

Last Updated: July 2010

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