The Center for Enhancement of Mathematics Education (CEME) at Cal State San Bernardino addresses the continuum of mathematics education from kindergarten through college with the aim of improving student achievement through programs that enhance the preparation of pre-service mathematics teachers, and support new and experienced mathematics teachers as they continuously look for ways to increase their effectiveness at teaching the subject.
CEME creates and sustains partnerships with schools, districts and local counties and provides ongoing teacher professional development programs, as well as self-contained workshops and institutes, for current CSUSB undergraduate students and teachers already working in the community. They also assist teachers with earning a California teaching credential.
The goal of the program is to improve readiness for college among students in the region through partnerships with K-12 teachers and school districts, and through specific programs and workshops including CSET prep, Teaching English Learners Mathematics, Dinner and a Math Problem and many more.
“As a mathematics Ph.D. student at UCLA, I had the opportunity to be involved in teacher professional development and K-12 curriculum design, and began to discover how much depth there is hidden in elementary mathematics,” said Madeleine Jetter, current co-director and former director of the center. “I grew up thinking there was just one way to subtract multidigit numbers or divide a fraction by a fraction, but this isn’t true. Students in other cultures learn different methods, and understanding these methods helps us see there is complex reasoning behind mathematics, not just a series of steps to memorize. So when I began seeking faculty jobs, I looked for an institution that values mathematics teacher education and found CSUSB and CEME.”
The center recently completed a five-year grant-supported partnership with two small elementary districts in Riverside County called Teaching English Learners Early Mathematics. The independent evaluation found that participating teachers showed growth in their mathematical content knowledge as measured by Learning Mathematics for Teaching Assessments, and that teachers improved their use of higher-order questioning in the classroom. Students of participating teachers also showed increases in standardized test scores relative to students with no exposure to the project.
“When I work with elementary teachers, it is so gratifying to see them make a change from being a teacher who has to teach mathematics to a teacher who gets to teach mathematics,” Jetter said.
The center offers two scholarship opportunities, including the Noyce Math and Science Teaching Scholarship, which provides prospective science and mathematics teachers an enriched teacher preparation experience working directly with teachers in the San Bernardino City Unified School District, while completing a science or mathematics degree and/or earning a teaching credential at CSUSB, and the Early Teaching Experiences in Mathematics and Science (ETEMS) scholarship, which offers CSUSB students who have completed their first year of coursework in their major a unique opportunity to explore K-12 STEM teaching.
“What happens in K-12 schools has a direct impact on student success at CSUSB and later careers,” said Jetter. “It isn’t appropriate for higher education faculty to blame K-12 educators when they feel their students are mathematically underprepared, and it really isn’t enough to send our graduates into teaching careers and expect them to create the systemic change we need in order to see real improvements in math readiness at the college level. We are all part of one educational system and it’s our responsibility as mathematics leaders in the Inland counties region to address the entire system by partnering with schools and helping to foster communication and coherence between our programs and K-12 classrooms.”
The Center for Enhancement of Mathematics Education is run by Kelli Wasserman, director, and co-directors Madeleine Jetter and Jeremy Aikin.
To learn more about the Center for Enhancement of Mathematics Education, visit the center’s website.