Psychology is poised to shape the future of math education, with six psychologists among the 19 education experts that comprise the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Two of the panels' five ex-officio members are also psychologists.
President George W. Bush has charged the panel with advising him and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on the best use of research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics. Their specific focus is on algebra, the gateway course to higher math classes, says Rena Subotnik, PhD, director of APA's Center for Psychology in Schools and Education.
The panel has met 10 times to review more than 16,000 studies and public testimony from 63 organizations, and will present formal recommendations to President Bush next month.
Psychologists, with their extensive research on cognition and its application to education, are well-suited to design instructional processes and recommend courses of action that strengthen instruction, says ex-officio panel member Grover (Russ) Whitehurst, PhD, director of the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education.
"The field of evidence-based education is one that is growing, and contributed to substantially by psychologists," adds Whitehurst.