New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

NYU's Simon Receives $2 Million NSF Grant to Study Mathematical Concept Development

September 7, 2010
N-009

 Martin Simon, professor of mathematics education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, has been awarded a $2 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation for research on students' concept development and the design of an innovative approach to teaching rational number (e.g., fractions, ratio) in elementary schools. Simon’s co-investigators on the Measurement Approach to Rational Number (MARN) Project are Barbara Dougherty, professor, Iowa State University, and Zaur Berkaliev, assistant professor, Illinois Institute of Technology.

The MARN Project researchers will investigate learning in classes that used the successful Elkonin-Davydov (E-D) elementary mathematics curriculum developed in Russia. Based on this research, they will adapt principles of this curriculum for incorporation into U.S. elementary mathematics classrooms. The particular emphasis is on multiplication, division, fractions, and ratios. Such concepts are considered to be the capstone of elementary mathematics instruction but tend to be inadequately developed among students in the early grades in the U.S.

According to Simon, the E-D curriculum holds potential for U.S. educators because it “builds on concepts of measurement. Students don’t just learn about numbers, but about quantities and how quantities are measured by units. Thus, they develop a foundation for multiplicative relationships.”

The researchers will begin the project by analyzing videotaped lessons of a Hawaiian mathematics classroom that implemented an English version of the E-D curriculum. Using knowledge gained from the analysis, the researchers will embark on teaching experiments based on the measurement approach of the E-D curriculum with students in New York City, first in one-on-one settings and later in classroom settings. The lessons will be videotaped and analyzed, allowing the researchers to contribute to the growing body of literature on how students learn mathematical concepts.

Ultimately, the MARN project is designed to identify key concepts developed in the E-D curriculum, understand the learning processes involved, and develop a framework that builds on U.S. elementary students’ knowledge that can be successfully integrated into current U.S. mathematics curricula.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Federal Grants, NYUToday-feature, Research News, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Type: Press Release

NYU's Simon Receives $2 Million NSF Grant

Search News



NYU In the News

Paying It Backward: NYU Alum Funds Scholarships

The Wall Street Journal profiled Trustee Evan Chesler on why he decided to chair the Momentum fund-raising campaign.

A Nobel Prize Party: Cheese, Bubbles, and a Boson

The New Yorker talked to Professor Kyle Cranmer and graduate student Sven Kreiss about NYU’s role in the discovery of the Higgs boson, which resulted in a Nobel prize for the scientists who predicted its existence.

The World as They Knew It

The New York Times reviewed the exhibit at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World on how ancient Greeks and Romans mapped the known and unknown areas of their world.

Elite Institutions: Far More Diverse Than They Were 20 Years Ago

NYU made stronger gains over the last 20 years in increasing diversity than any other major research university, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Program Seeks to Nurture ‘Data Science Culture’
at Universities

The New York Times reported on the multi-million collaboration among NYU and two other universities to harness the potential of Big Data, including an interview with Professor Yann LeCun, director of NYU’s Center for Data Science.

NYU Footer