Beginning this spring, the Hartman Literacy and Learning Center, located within the College of Education at Marquette University, will expand its services to include small group supplemental instruction in mathematics. In the math program, pre-service student teachers from MATH/EDUC 031 will use manipulative-based learning and active learning games to teach basic numbers and operations as well as fundamental elementary mathematics.
"Pre-service teachers will work to strengthen their own subject matter knowledge in MATH 31 while also learning to teach mathematics to elementary students,” says Dr. Leigh van den Kieboom, who will oversee the new math component. “Working directly with students in the Hartman Center provides pre-service teachers the opportunity to immediately use what they have learned about mathematics and teaching mathematics."
Among the benefits of the new math-based program, pre-service teachers will have multiple exposures to a teaching-learning context that enables them to effectively step into the role of teacher. The program allows faculty and supervisors to provide a far stronger intervention model, since the math and literacy content in the program is linked directly with an on-campus field experience.
“When they’re here in small groups, they get to practice teaching literacy and math in ways they can’t out in the field,” says Dr. Kathleen Clark, Director of the Hartman Literacy Center. “The Hartman Center model creates an absolute link between what we’re teaching, strategies that the pre-service teachers are learning, and an actual classroom experience."
In this manner, the program gives teachers practice in not only authentic classroom instruction, but also valuable experience in real-life classroom management.
“Parents have expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for the expanded services,” Dr. Clark comments, “And we are very excited to see this program growing. The work we do here is so central to the mission of the College and Marquette on the whole.”
The Hartman Center is a teaching, research and service site focusing on literacy development, particularly for at-risk children. The Family Literacy Project is a 10-week literacy program, sponsored by the center, that provides small group supplemental reading instruction for elementary level readers. Students from six area Milwaukee schools participate in the program, which is designed to improve the quality of literacy instruction provided by teachers and the literacy acquisition of urban children.