Mathematics education researchers recognize the importance of mathematical preparation for teaching grades K-12. Mathematics is often taught in primary and secondary schools as a set of algorithms bypassing the conceptual understanding needed to advance to higher levels. The need for teachers to have a good procedural understanding of the arithmetic of integers, fractions and decimals, as well as a sound conceptual understanding of the fundamentals is essential, as they must provide their students with this needed understanding for reaching higher levels of mathematical thinking.
Our Teacher’s Institute aims to show participants that deep understanding of elementary ideas is attainable in K-12 classrooms, and one way to cultivate this understanding is through engaging problems. The Institute’s philosophy is that learning mathematics can be motivated by interesting problems. The idea is to come up with problems whose solutions require, or strongly motivate, the development of the area of mathematics to be learned.