The Algebra Project, Inc., will use the opportunity of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to infuse new ideas into the re-building of education in New Orleans. They will use the occasion to introduce new materials for mathematics education that give voice to students' experiences in the aftermath of the hurricanes. These materials will assist educators in New Orleans and many other sites as they work on issues that have been raised by these events.
The project has three objectives: (1) to produce classroom instructional materials that use New Orleans students' stories as a starting point for the development of mathematics concepts; (2) to produce a resource database of student-generated stories and other materials and a guide for classroom use; (3) to produce a report by the now dispersed students, teachers and concerned community members from the New Orleans 9th ward with recommendations for addressing the aftermath of the hurricanes in the New Orleans schools as well as in other schools where displaced students are enrolling. The project will use software tailored for the development work and these products will be available for use by others over the internet.
The project will enable members of the school community of the Frederick Douglass High School in the New Orleans 9th ward, its feeder middle school and members of two other New Orleans 9th ward high schools to collaborate with the Algebra Project, which has been developing instructional materials for high school mathematics under NSF grant #0137855.
Student-generated stories (for example, a story of an evacuation trip) will serve as the starting point for instructional modules that target some specific mathematics concepts contained in the national and state mathematics frameworks for Grades 6-10. Staff of the Algebra Project, and of Students at the Center, will use methods that have already proved effective in their past work to motivate students and local education stakeholders to address educational issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the hurricanes. This project offers a way for educators who have been working with these students and families to facilitate the development of student-centered instructional materials and community-centered ideas for educational initiatives in New Orleans. The project will also generate specific instructional materials that will be useful for years in the future.