My whole reason to go to Morocco is to understand more about a new way of teaching mathematics in their middle schools. This is, generally speaking, what it is and what I’ll be doing.
The Center of IT Innovation for Human Development (CITI) at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane has developed and implemented a new website to explore how technology can help the development of teaching middle school students Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Life and Earth Sciences. It contains great features like lesson plans for teachers and interactive lessons, worksheets and practice tests for students. You can check it out at http://citi.aui.ma though it is, of course, in Arabic.
I am interested in exploring how this software has impacted girls in the mathematics classroom. It is my aim to study the implementation and content of this new technology in the classroom and its effect, if any, on the performance and attitude of girls.
In the Moroccan education system, after successful completion of the first nine years of schooling from the age of six to 15, students choose one of two tracks: either the general track, which is geared toward classes in the humanities or the technical track, which prepares students in the fields of engineering, economics and mathematics. Clearly, the development of a strong mathematics curriculum at the middle school level will benefit all students, not just girls, before this crossroad.
CITI conducts research in the classroom by comparing students’ grades in an experimental group (where the software is used) to a control group. CITI has been kind enough to let me know I can use their data to gather data on girls’ performance. In order to understand how the technology has impacted the attitude of girls toward mathematics, I will use surveys and more informal group discussions.
Thats the general idea, anyway. I’m still working on the details.