Associate Professor Amy Roth McDuffie explains
different ways to make math relevant to children
during her Teaching Elementary Mathematics course
at WSU Tri-Cities.
RICHLAND – An education professor has received a $361,417 grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a multi-state research project about teaching math.

“We aim to better prepare future teachers to teach math to diverse students,” said Amy Roth McDuffie, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of teaching and learning who specializes in mathematics education. “We intend to follow our future teachers into student teaching and their first year of teaching.

“This project has been my passion for the past three years, and so I’m thrilled to be able to move this to the next step,” she said.
The NSF dedicated $3.5 million for the five-year, six-university project called TEACH Math -“Teachers Empowered to Advance CHange in Mathematics: Preparing preK-8 teachers to connect children’s mathematical thinking and community-based funds of knowledge.”

According to the project summary, this research and development project will address the key challenge of “How can we enhance the ability of teachers to provide science, technology, engineering and mathematics education?” TEACH Math aims to transform preparation so new generations of teachers will have powerful tools to increase student learning and achievement, especially in the nation’s increasingly diverse public schools.

The project will be conducted at sites that represent a diverse range of teaching situations. Roth McDuffie will lead the research at WSU Tri-Cities and collaborate with her colleagues to develop instructional materials and analyze the cross-site data.
The other universities involved are Iowa State University (project lead), the University of Washington Tacoma, University of Arizona, Queens College-City University of New York, and the University of Delaware.
Roth McDuffie earned her Ph.D. in mathematics education in 1998 from the University of Maryland. Her career path includes seven years as a high school math teacher. She joined WSU Tri-Cities in 1998 and earned tenure in 2006. Her research focuses on student-centered approaches that incorporate research and theory on how students come to understand mathematics.
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 45,000 competitive requests for funding and makes more than 11,500 new awards. NSF also awards more than $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
WSU Tri-Cities is located along the scenic Columbia River in Richland, Wash. Established in 1989 with upper division and graduate programs, WSU Tri-Cities expanded in 2007 to a full four-year undergraduate campus offering 17 bachelor’s, 14 master’s and seven doctoral degrees. Learn more about the fastest growing and most diverse campus in the WSU system at