AUSTIN, Texas—Methods of teaching math, science and reading are the focus of “Teaching the Hard Stuff to Diverse Groups of Students,” a national conference for educators July 13-15, at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Dallas.
The conference is co-sponsored by the Charles A. Dana Center, a research unit at The University of Texas at Austin that focuses on mathematics and science education, and the STAR Center, a federal technical assistance center that provides services to low-performing or at-risk Texas campuses.
Higher standards brought about by the No Child Left Behind Act and the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) require educators to pursue leading research-based practices that helps all students, including those with widely different backgrounds and experiences due to their diverse home environments. To address the two most difficult content areas, mathematics and science, this conference brings together the presidents of the national mathematics and science teachers’ organizations to discuss the issue of how best to engage diverse learners.
“The conference will disseminate ideas and strategies that work with students who are or have been identified as most at risk of failure,” said Darlene Yañez, Dana Center director of the STAR Center. “Conference participants will be exposed to research-based efforts that ensure all students are provided with rigorous and challenging coursework and the tools to succeed.”
“Teaching the Hard Stuff” will focus on learning in mathematics, science, English language arts and reading at the elementary and secondary levels. The conference will cover teaching, learning, assessment and equity. The conference will include sessions on research and on best practice conducted by exemplary classroom practitioners, administrators and researchers. The conference is aimed at administrators, teachers, counselors, policymakers and school board members.
Panelists include Cathy Seeley, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Michael Padilla, president of the National Science Teachers Association. They will discuss student engagement as the key to success in mathematics and science education.
“We know more than ever before how to teach math to all students by engaging them in their own mathematics learning,” Seeley said. “If we do it well, all students can make sense of math, can learn to do math and can use math to solve all kinds of problems.”
Other national speakers will include Kati Haycock, director of the Education Trust, and Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., executive director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation, QUALCOMM Professor of Urban Education at San Diego State University and a former national Title I director.
“For educators striving to create better schools the central issue must be how do we improve everyday instruction? How do we teach 21st-century, challenging academic content to those students we have historically failed to reach?” Johnson said.
Also speaking is Karen Hickman, principal of Matthys Elementary School in Pasadena Independent School District, the Texas 2005 National Distinguished Principal.
Register online at the Dana Center Web site or at the door on July 13. The conference starts with a welcome session on July 13. Regular sessions are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 14-15.
For more information contact: Cynthia L. Schneider, 512-475-9713.