Many educators in Arizona grapple with how to engage students in authentic problem solving to develop a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics. This is a difficult task; especially for those of us who were taught differently. As we embark on this new era of mathematics instruction, driven by Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, it’s time for professional learning to catch up and provide the education community with the knowledge, skills, and resources to meet this challenge. We cannot rely on text book companies to support us. High quality materials are great, but without the foundational understanding of mathematics and research-based pedagogy, our teachers and students will continue to struggle through this standards transition.
The Rodel Charitable Foundation offers a mathematics professional learning series that addresses this issue. Math 20/20 has been in use for the last few years in a number of schools in Arizona. Teachers, principals, and instructional support staff have banded together to learn this very rigorous style of mathematics instruction, and it has paid off. The research emerging from these pilot districts is promising. Good teachers are being transformed into great teachers. Grade levels are focusing on developing deep mathematical understandings in their students, and students are becoming stronger problem solvers and mathematical thinkers. Math 20/20 is now available to all interested Maricopa County school districts through a partnership with MCESA.