NSF funds two new centers for learning and teaching, creating partnerships in four states

October 04, 2000

Two new Centers for Learning and Teaching will start up this month in Maryland and Texas, supported by awards of $9 million to $10 million each by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The centers, representing one of NSF's priority efforts in education, create innovative partnerships between universities, school districts and other educational partners to address critical issues in mathematics, science and technology education in K-12 classrooms and in universities.

In Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning will focus on finding solutions to ease the shortage of mathematics education faculty and K-12 teachers. The center will work through innovative graduate programs as well as pre-service and in-service mathematics education for K-12 teachers. It will use distance learning opportunities to allow for availability of courses to students and teachers in all partner organizations.

The Texas-based Center for the Applications of Information Technologies in the Teaching and Learning of Science will examine ways of introducing technology into science education, including educating graduate students in how to develop new materials for science education. There will be new graduate opportunities for teachers willing to test these new technologies in the classroom, and lessons learned will be disseminated through partnerships with local school districts.

"Centers for Learning and Teaching are an important part of NSF's contributions toward improving K-12 science, mathematics and technology education in this country," says Judith Sunley, NSF interim assistant director for Education and Human Resources. "Through their partnerships of institutions of higher education, K-12 schools and other organizations, they provide rich mix of research, teacher education and leadership development that will have a long-lasting impact on teaching practices in the U.S. "

The Maryland center is a consortium of three research universities and three school-system partners: the University of Maryland and Prince George's County (Md.) Public Schools; the University of Delaware and the Delaware State Department of Education; and Penn State University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Partners in the Texas center are: Texas A&M University at College Station and Texas A&M Corpus Christi; the Dana Center of the University of Texas-Austin; Del Mar College, Corpus Christi; the Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History; the Urban Systemic Programs in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio; and the Texas Statewide and Rural Systemic Initiatives.

NSF's Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education expects to fund from seven to nine new Centers for Learning and Teaching in 2001.
Program contact:
John Bradley

For more information, see: http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/esie/news/new_centers_solicit.htm

***NSF is an independent federal agency which supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of about $4 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states, through grants to about 1,600 universities and institutions nationwide Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards.

National Science Foundation

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