2017 News Stories

Mathematics Education Professor Receives Research Grant from National Science Foundation

(Tampa, Fla. July 27, 2017) — College of Education professor Ruthmae Sears, PhD, received a grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative research project that will take a look at the clinical experiences provided to student teachers in mathematics education programs.  

Ruthmae Sears, PhD

College of Education professor Ruthmae Sears, PhD, received a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation to study the clinical experiences of mathematics education student teachers.

The aim of many mathematics teacher education programs is to produce teachers who can use teaching practices that enable all secondary students to reason with and make sense of mathematics. To support this, the study will look at how different types of clinical experiences affect student teachers’ implementation of equitable teaching practices.

As a collaborative partnership, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Executive Vice President Howard Gobstein and Auburn University Mathematics Education Professor Marilyn E. Strutchens will also be involved with the research project. The collaborative grant was funded for $1,579,027 for four years.  The grant funding at USF will focus on the implementation of co-planning and co-teaching within secondary mathematics. 

“It is truly an honor to bring a hub to USF for a collaborative partnership that focuses on mathematics education clinical experiences in an effort to advance the work of the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership,” Sears said.

The researchers will implement an improvement science research design to study mechanisms to aid the implementation of various alternative clinical experience models, such as methods courses, the paired placement model and the co-planning and co-teaching models. A consortium of 24 universities and their school partners will conduct the study, setting the stage for evaluation of different clinical experiences across multiple institutions.

The National Science Foundation – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant seeks to address challenges, and provide opportunities to advance undergraduate STEM education.

About the USF College of Education:

The USF College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (formerly NCATE), and is fully approved by the Florida Department of Education. The USF College of Education is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 100 programs in the nation, as well as in the top 30 for online graduate education programs. The USF College of Education has more than 51,000 alumni who are making a difference in the lives of children each day.

About the National Science Foundation:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.