Mathematically Aligned Vertical Strands (MAVS) Connecting Mathematics Research, Pedagogy and Outreach for Gk-12 Fellows and Teachers
The Mathematically Aligned Vertical Strands Connecting Mathematics Research, Pedagogy, and Outreach for GK-12 Fellows and Teachers project (MAVS project) is a creation of a seamless transition in mathematics that spans the school curriculum and bridges to research-level mathematics that involves mathematics research faculty, graduate students, teachers, administrators, and K-12 students.
The MAVS project extends the vertical team concept to connect graduate students’ research in mathematics to junior high and high school classrooms in a manner that reflects appropriate understanding of student thinking and understanding of mathematic concepts and how those concepts build upon each other.
At the heart of the MAVS project are cohesive vertical teams of graduate students, K-12 teachers, and mathematicians. It involves three components for mathematics graduate students:
- Develop a profound understanding of appropriate mathematics vertical strands that allow a seamless learning pathway for bringing research-level mathematics to the K-12 setting
- Develop communication and leadership skills through interactions with K-12 teachers and students
- Produce learning materials that integrate their research into the K-12 curriculum and reflect the appropriate pedagogy in the K-12 setting
The MAVS partnership builds upon a longstanding collaboration between The University of Texas at Arlington’s (UT Arlington) Department of Mathematics and the Arlington Independent School District (AISD) for improving mathematics education in its schools.
The MAVS project is a natural outgrowth of focused efforts to improve the mathematics achievement in AISD schools especially those that serve a disproportionate number of students historically underrepresented in the mathematics-based disciplines. The MAVS fellows benefit by learning to communicate mathematics at various levels of sophistication, but also K-12 teachers experience a change in what they know and believe about mathematics that will strongly impact their instructional decisions and actions (Thompson, 1992). The K-12 students in the MAVS fellows’ classrooms will gain an insight for the usefulness and beauty of mathematics and acquire a disposition toward inquiry that will be life changing. At UT Arlington, we are called to “Be A Maverick.™” This represents a philosophy of being inquisitive, creative, determined, and innovative. The MAVS project name borrows from this tradition and follows its spirit.