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John Russell is a Research Associate at Math ƒor America and instrumental in supporting research-practice partnerships that bolster MƒA’s efforts to encourage its model nationally. John discusses the powerful collaboration between science and math educators that is taking place in the Math for America program in New York and shares with us their model.
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"When I think of making sense of problems, and I think of the idea of exploring phenomena -- what is phenomena as the center point of a science classroom but the idea of making sense of what's going on? And so when you get to situate these ideas with science and math teachers, what you realize is that we don't need to think about 'what is the algebra going on in math?' and make sure that the thing I'm teaching has algebra in it. What we can talk about instead is 'what is the explanation I'm building in science?' 'what is the explanation I'm building in math?' and 'am I using the same types of ideas in both?'" [11:35 - 12:10] John Russell
"Instead of thinking 'I'm a science person, I deal only in science' or 'I'm a math person, I deal only in math,' in the end, everyone's just trying to build knowledge with their students, and there's a way to bring it together." [14:15 - 14:35] John Russell
"As a teacher, I think we all want to have classrooms that build off the curiosity of our students. And this is true whether I'm a math teacher or a science teacher. But I think that we think of science as the pursuit of getting students curious about something and trying to explore it. And then the next level up is actually, something we don't talk about is that teachers are curious people too." [18:45 - 19:10] John Russell
"It's not about telling teachers what to do, it's about supporting teachers in what they want to do." [33:05 - 33:15] John Russell
"Where are the places that we can make our private acts of teaching more public? And how do we get to actually talk about the things that are going well in our classrooms as well as the struggles that we're having in our classrooms, especially with this ambitious idea of NGSS." [36:10-36:35] John Russell
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