Friday, September 22, 2017

The Algebra Project Keeps on Pushin'

>>>> Alliance Website <<<<

In my discussions with teachers I often drop a line like,  "The Algebra Project saved my life" or "The Algebra Project changed me irrevocably".  And folks ask me how they can learn more or get involved. 

There is a small website and a few books {Radical Equations, QECR, Educating for Insurgency}, but educators are left asking, where is the curriculum? the pedagogy? What is this “approach” that they espouse?

The Algebra Project has been working on Math Literacy as a vehicle to organize social change for the past 35 years. Join the "We the People" Alliance. (Edit 5/23/18, added link to website above)

It isn’t a textbook series, although there are curricular modules: Tripline, Road Coloring, Flagway, Winding Games… 

It isn’t a set of instructional activities, although there are design principles: share a common experience, 3 Ps (produce, present, and peer review mathematical reasoning), a mathematization process... 

It doesn’t claim to be a magic bullet. The Algebra Project understands that what works in one context will not necessarily work elsewhere. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can support math literacy efforts in your area, and we need math literacy workers across the nation to join forces.

Our shared goal is to amplify student and teacher voices from underserved contexts.

Watch the Student Voice video: 

Watch the Teacher Voice video:
Watch the Community Voice video:
The Algebra Project is a bottom-up community organizing effort to prepare students performing in the bottom quartile of math achievement to take college math for college credit upon completion of high school. We use math literacy as an organizing tool.

There was an NSF-funded convening focused on the question: 
What roles and structures are needed for a mini-backbone organization in order to scale a "bottom up" model of social change into an organized, full scale collective impact model?
There currently is an NSF INCLUDES grant to establish a national network focused on building an Alliance around students in the bottom quartile of achievement in the lower grades being able to do college math for college credit post-treatment:
The proposed work will comprise the design of effective learning opportunities; building and supporting a cadre of teachers who can effectively work with students learning under the proposed approach; using technologies to enhance teaching and learning; and utilizing evaluation and research to drive continuous improvement. 
In speaking with Bob Moses and Ben Moynihan directly over the past few months I have uncovered some tacit goals:
1) Institutionalize the teacher voice
2) The issue of the materials
  • What to teach?
  • How to teach it?
  • How to assess what’s been taught and learned?
Wondering if any of this strikes a chord with you or if there are ways you'd like to be included further. Next steps would likely involve getting on a conference call, in-person meeting, or workshop/conference in the coming weeks/months. 
Upcoming opportunities:
1) Join the "We the People" alliance facebook group:

2) Park City Math Institute (PCMI) in summer 2018 Dates: July 1 - 21, 2018;
Project abstracts:

3) Critical Issues at MSRI

Please reach out in the comments, join the Facebook group, and share widely.

A former educator and colleague of mine, Marcus Hung, with Room 212 Photography produced the four videos embedded in this post that highlight The Algebra Project's current "We The People" Alliance work.