Released By The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics News Release
April 04, 2001

NCTM and Duke Energy Announce Partnership To Provide High-Tech Professional Development for Math Teachers

ORLANDO, FLA. – The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) today announced plans to develop a new high-tech means of delivering professional development to mathematics teachers. In partnership with Duke Energy Corporation of Charlotte, North Carolina, the Council is creating a Web-based system for professional development called Reflections to provide teacher training for classroom teachers.

The NCTM/Duke Energy partnership is a five-year project that will use the World Wide Web to engage teachers in lesson studies. In its first year, Duke Energy is the corporate champion to build algebraic thinking in Kindergarten through 8th-grade students.

According to Lee V. Stiff, president of NCTM, "Recent reports indicate that too many of our students are taught by teachers without adequate preparation in mathematics or a rich understanding of effective teaching practices. This project should provide an innovative and effective way to improve the pedagogy of current and future teachers."

NCTM is committed to supporting the growth of teachers’ knowledge and effectiveness in the classroom. To develop the mathematics skills of K – 12 students, a first step is to promote algebraic thinking among students in the earliest grades at school. "Duke Energy is a natural partner for this project," said Stiff. "This is a company that has built its success by employing top-flight mathematics knowledge from engineering to finance. The company genuinely understands and cares about the mathematics skills of our nation’s citizens."

Duke Energy chairman, CEO and president, Rick Priory, says, "Duke Energy is proud to stand alongside every teacher responsible for mathematics instruction. We believe that teachers can leverage the excellent curricula that are in some schools by sharing the best practices of these dedicated professionals around the country. This builds the capacity of each teacher, who, in turn, touches hundreds of students."

Reflections will provide online video examples of mathematics instruction to help teachers apply in-depth analysis and discussion of these examples to improve their own skills. Online discussions will include lesson-study critiques. Students’ work during the class and their assignments will also be included on the Web site. A professional analysis, through a form of "chat room" on the lesson, will be conducted after each Web-video segment. The teachers’ discussions and analysis will be included as part of the growing content of the Web site.

NCTM expects to establish partnerships with institutes of higher education so that teachers using the newly developed Web-based system will be able to earn college credit toward a master’s degree. A prototype system currently under development would eventually award university credits. Once it is developed, universities throughout the country will be encouraged to implement such systems for earning college credit. The goal is for these systems to be in place, along with the entire Web-based program, by April 2002.

With more than 100,000 members and more than 250 Affiliates, NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education. The Council’s "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics" are guidelines for excellence in mathematics education and issue a call for all students to engage in more challenging mathematics. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for our nation’s students.

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy, a Fortune 100 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses—generating revenues of more than $49 billion in 2000. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

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Contact: Gay Dillin, Manager of Media Relations
Phone: 703/620-9840, est. 2189
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Email: gdillin@nctm.org