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National math conference coming to Little Rock

By: 19 June 2011 14 Comments

About 400 elementary teachers from across the nation will gather in Little Rock this week for the first time that Arkansas has hosted a conference about Cognitively Guided Instruction.

CGI is a professional development program that focuses on math for grades K-3 and has attracted widespread interest throughout Arkansas.

Cognitively Guided Instruction is an elementary-level mathematics professional development program based on an integrated program of research on four components:

  • the development of students’ mathematical thinking,
  • instruction that influences that development,
  • teachers’ knowledge and beliefs that influence their instructional practice, and
  • the way that teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and practices are influenced by their understanding of students’ mathematical thinking.

The program is designed to increase teachers’ understanding of the knowledge that students bring to the math learning process and how they connect that knowledge with formal concepts and operations, said Laura Kent, co-chair of the conference and University of Arkansas associate professor of secondary education. Kent specializes in mathematics instruction in the department of curriculum and instruction.

“This is a unique opportunity for kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers,” Kent said. “CGI is popular in Arkansas, and this conference will give these teachers the opportunity to learn from the pioneers of the program. Their students, ultimately, will be the ones to benefit. Another benefit of CGI for the state of Arkansas is the close alignment of mathematics content of the workshops and the K-2 Common Core Mathematics Standards. Many teachers who have been through several years of CGI professional development are out in front in terms of implementing the Common Core standards for mathematics.”

Co-chairing the conference with Kent are elementary math specialists Linda Jaslow of the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative, Pam Allen of the Wilbur D. Mills Education Service Cooperative and Jody Pearce of the DeQueen/Mena Education Service Cooperative.



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