ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — July 11, 2007 — When the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) teachers from around the globe attend mathematics training this summer in Honolulu, they'll be sitting side by side with colleagues from public schools in Hawaii. The invitation for local teachers to participate is part of a new DoDEA initiative to coordinate partnership activities and initiatives with local education agencies (LEAs). Training is scheduled from July 9th through July 20th at the Pacific Beach Hotel.
According to DoDEA Director, Dr. Joe Tafoya, "DoDEA has an opportunity and obligation to assist military-connected communities to ensure the best possible educational experience for military students. Opening our training so that local teachers can also benefit is the best way for us to show school districts that we are truly interested in being a good partner."
Of the approximately 1.2 million military student-age children, DoDEA educates nearly 90,000 with the rest of the students being educated in public, private and home-based schools. DoDEA has embarked on a new initiative to offer its experience and partner with LEAs as a way to continue its interest and investment in quality education for military families which remains a major factor in retaining highly qualified and trained military personnel.
The primary focus of the initiative is to share DoDEA's expertise with non-DoD schools that educate military students. The concept is the result of collaboration between DoDEA and the office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (DUSD, (MC & FP)) to address the educational quality given to all military dependent students, especially those affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and global rebasing of U.S. military forces. DoDEA has formed a Partnership Directorate to work with schools that have similar challenges and experiences that DoDEA schools have in providing quality education for military children.
"Our DoDEA vision is 'Communities committed to success for all students'," said Ms. Taffy Corrigan, DoDEA Partnership Director. "Working hand in hand with our colleagues in local schools complements our vision to extend that commitment to reach every military child, wherever they attend school."
The training is part of ongoing professional development that DoDEA offers teachers in the summer. Because of the large number of military students attending public schools in Hawaii, it is an ideal location for teachers to collaborate during the training sessions. Hawaii is also a half way point for many DoDEA educators who are returning from DoD schools in the Pacific. An invitation was extended to include 35 teachers from local schools in Hawaii on nationally recognized professional development for Mathematic instruction. The training will be provided to colleagues from Hawaii who apply and participate. Elementary teachers will receive staff development using Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI). Participants will explore the base-ten structure of the number system. They will learn mathematics content, recognize key mathematical ideas with which students are grappling, appreciate the power and complexity of student thinking, and analyze activities to uncover the mathematics students will learn from it.
Middle school teachers will receive training that will examine different components of proportional reasoning, develop rational number vocabulary, and explore different interpretations of rational numbers. The seminar includes study of relative thinking, partitioning, unitizing, rational numbers, ratio sense, and quantities and change. The dates for these training sessions are listed below.
Trainers and facilitators for the workshops include Maria Timmerman, a K-12 Mathematics Coordinator at DoDEA in Arlington, Virginia; Larry Leutzinger, an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Northern Iowa; and Sandy Ubben, an Adjunct Faculty Member of Mathematics Education at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).
"Up until now, DoDEA has worked hard with other agencies and private organizations to address transitional issues that are procedural in nature," Tafoya said. "We've had success, but there is still more work to be done. This new initiative and the training we are offering in Hawaii, will allow us to address curricular transition issues that directly influence student achievement."
The mathematics instruction is not the only value added for teachers. "This training opportunity in Hawaii helps our teachers immensely to collaborate with their stateside counterparts," said Corrigan. "Since many of our teachers spend most of their time in foreign countries, they need to interact with stateside colleagues to understand current trends and practices in the public schools."
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for DoD dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
The Educational Partnership Directorate will coordinate with DoD as well as the U.S. Department of Education, individual state Departments of Education and local school districts to meet and form partnerships. The objective of the meetings and partnerships will support best practices for schools who are educating military students.
Training dates and locations
DMI: Numbers & Operations I: Building a System of Tens (BST)
Audience: K-5 Teachers, Elementary Specialists, and Administrators
July 9 - 13, 2007
Pacific Beach Hotel
2490 Kalakau Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
Mathematics for Middle Grades
Audience: Mathematics Teachers, Specialists, and Administrators
July 16 - 20, 2007
Pacific Beach Hotel
2490 Kalakau Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
To arrange interviews
DoDEA onsite (Pacific Beach Hotel) coordinator:
Ms. Taffy Corrigan (July 8-13)
Ms. Anne Muse (July 16-20)