Innovative Mathematics Programs That Promote Curiosity and Joy
Out-of-school learning opportunities can improve student academic achievement and support social–emotional learning by providing learning contexts that promote creativity, safe risk-taking, and a tolerance for ambiguity and failure. The challenges presented by gameplay featured in these learning environments facilitate and reinforce student learning of foundational mathematical understanding. With more flexibility than classroom settings, these fun learning contexts engage communities, parents, and caregivers by providing an opportunity for a diversity of ages and expertise to participate in activities centered around curiosity, discovery, and innovation.
This profile presents WestEd’s findings from high-level studies of five mathematics programs that created opportunities for students and teachers to build confidence, enjoyment, and skill. This brief summarizes the key features of each program. Full profiles on each program, including data on student and teacher experiences, are linked below.
These profiles were produced with funding from the Overdeck Family Foundation as part of the Math ReEngagment Project.
WestEd found that all five programs increased students’ positive attitudes about mathematics and increased teachers’ enjoyment of teaching mathematics, while some also increased student understanding and skills.
These programs were utilized primarily in out-of-school or summer school settings, but they could also be implemented within the traditional classroom.
Read the full program profiles:
Product InformationCopyright: 2023
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