Dr. Charalambos Y. Charalambous is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at the University of Cyprus, specializing in Educational Research and Evaluation. He holds a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Cyprus, an MA in Mathematics Education from the same university, an MA in Statistics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan. After his graduate studies, he conducted post-doctoral research at Harvard University.
Grounding his research on the work of teaching (which he himself experienced as an elementary school teacher for a number of years), he is interested in exploring teaching effectiveness, with a particular focus on teaching quality and teachers’ use of different teaching practices (e.g., using and linking representations, providing explanations, engaging students in productive discussions). He is also interested in teacher initial training and teacher professional development through video-club initiatives aimed toward guided reflection upon teaching practice.
Writing in 1992, Deborah Ball talked about our “magical hopes” when using representations and manipulatives: that, by default, these devices help students “see” the underlying mathematical concepts. She also paralleled the use of representations to “training wheels” for students’ mathematical thinking, which, when removed, result in students carrying out algorithms without understanding. Ball’s arguments are still valid and the question remains: How can we turn our magical hopes when using representations and manipulatives into realistic expectations about reinforcing students’ conceptual understanding?
In this presentation, we will answer this question by addressing three related issues: (a) Why are we using representations and manipulatives? (b) What representations and manipulatives do we need to be using in different situations? And, more critically, (c) How should we be using these devices to ensure that when the training wheels are removed from students’ mathematical bicycles, students can still ride smoothly and competently?
Dr. Lynn Fuchs is the Dunn Family Chair in Psychoeducational Assessment at Vanderbilt University. She has conducted programmatic research on assessment methods for enhancing instructional planning, on instructional methods for improving mathematics and reading outcomes for students with learning disabilities, and on the cognitive and linguistic student characteristics associated with mathematics development and responsiveness to intervention. Dr. Fuchs has published more than 350 empirical studies in peer-review journals. She has been identified by Thomas Reuters as one of the most frequently cited researchers in the social sciences, and has received a variety of awards to acknowledge her research accomplishments that have enhanced math outcomes for children with and without disabilities.
Word-problem solving (WPS) reflects understanding of and the capacity to apply mathematical ideas in everyday life and in science, technology, engineering, and advanced mathematics learning. Yet, many students – especially those with mathematics learning disabilities - struggle in this domain. Lynn Fuchs explains the importance of WPS and the role language comprehension plays in WPS success. She then describes a validated intervention for improving WPS among students who struggle with mathematics and presents a recent randomized controlled trial assessing the efficacy of this approach at first grade and isolating the importance of teaching students the language of WPS.
Nancy C. Jordan is Dean Family Endowed Chair and Professor (Learning Sciences) at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on how children learn math and why so many struggle. Professor Jordan has received numerous grants, including from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.
Professor Jordan recently served as Chair of the governing board of the international Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society. She also served on the Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics of the National Research Council and as an expert panel member on the U.S. Dept. of Education Practice Guides on teaching math to young children and on providing interventions for students with math disabilities.
Professor Jordan is dedicated to disseminating her work to a wide audience, including researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. She translates her foundational research to improve educational practice, especially for those with learning disabilities and limited educational opportunities in STEM. She has developed successful interventions and screening tools for high-risk children, including the widely used Number Sense Interventions and the Screener for Early Number Sense.
In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the components of number sense and their importance to early and later math achievement, based on a growing body of research in numerical cognition and learning. I will also present how number sense components can be screened in 4- to 7-year-old children along with how screening information can be used to develop effective interventions in multi-tiered support systems. Specific evidence-based intervention materials and strategies will be described