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Adapting A Post Secondary Stem Instructional Model To K 5 Mathematics Instruction

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Enhancing K-12 Mathematics Education with Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.175.1 - 12.175.15



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Paper Authors


Donna Diaz Clemson University

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Dr. Donna Diaz is Research Assistant Professor at Clemson University in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Her responsibilities include designing and delivering professional development for K-5 teachers in the content area of mathematics. She is a member of the Math Out of the Box curriculum development team, assisting in the design and delivery of teacher development and student curriculum materials. In addition she serves as Principal Investigator for teacher development projects funded by the National Science Foundation, Appalachian Regional Commission, and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.

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Pam King Clemson University

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Pamela King is a lead curriculum developer for the Math Out of the Box pre-engineering curriculum project. She writes curriculum for K-5 students and teachers. Her area of expertise is in special education and she is currently investigating the use of Math Out of the Box with special education students.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Adapting a Post-Secondary STEM Instructional Model to K-5 Mathematics Instruction Abstract

If Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is to be improved, knowledge about teaching and learning for STEM disciplines should be a fundamental consideration in curriculum design, beginning at the earliest grades. This study examines the efficacy of a mathematics project that adapts a post-secondary instructional model developed by Richard M. Felder and Elizabeth Brent to the lesson design of an elementary mathematics curriculum that includes materials for K-5 classrooms and for K-5 teacher development. The purpose of this paper is to describe how the Felder/Brent instructional model for post-secondary engineering students adapts to an elementary environment and to share preliminary findings in student mathematical achievement and program implementation.


Enabling students from the earliest grades to develop confidence and competence in mathematics prepares them for a competitive job market and makes higher education more accessible. Failure to advance in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) “gate keeper” courses is by far the leading cause of low numbers of Americans who are prepared to enter technical jobs out of high school or to enter engineer/technical degree programs at universities in this country. Preparing students to enter the job market or degree programs with mathematical confidence and competence not only increases their own personal opportunities, but it also contributes to the advancement of a well-prepared and competent American citizenry. Consequently, STEM preparation at the earliest grades is not only a matter of personal equity, but also a matter of social responsibility.

Because the foundation for STEM careers is laid in elementary classrooms, a pre-engineering mathematics curriculum program is a long overdue consideration. A team of K-16 educators and elementary classroom teachers, under the guidance of faculty from the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University are developing a K-5 mathematics curriculum program designed to prepare students for STEM disciplines and to prepare teachers to effectively implement the program. This curriculum is designed to provide elementary students with the kinds of learning experiences that will not only prepare them for higher level STEM courses, but will also provide them with an interactive learning environment where communication and collaboration skills are developed. Such collaborative working environments are essential to production in many of today’s STEM careers. Thus if students expect to succeed in engineering and technical fields, preparation must begin in the early grades to ensure that students have the kinds of learning experiences that enable them to advance through gate keeper courses and beyond.

Features of the Curriculum

The K-5 pre-engineering mathematics curriculum program, Math Out of the Box™, described in this paper has been designed based on the premise that access to innovative learning tools and

Diaz, D., & King, P. (2007, June), Adapting A Post Secondary Stem Instructional Model To K 5 Mathematics Instruction Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3054

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