Second graders at Hartford Avenue University School in
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Second graders at Hartford Avenue University School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

May 5, 2010
Second graders at Hartford Avenue University School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, invent their own math games. The school is a participant in the Milwaukee Urban Systemic Initiative.

More about this Image The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports the Milwaukee Urban Systemic Initiative (MUSI). MUSI seeks to create fundamental changes in the way math and science is taught in the Milwaukee Public Schools. MUSI has aided Milwaukee Public Schools in setting curriculum standards and providing teachers with continuing education on inquiry-based teaching methods. Inquiry-based teaching is a form of teaching that operates on the premise that learning is not meaningful if a student is not curious about what they are being taught. The idea of inquiry-based learning dates back as far as Socrates, one of the first educators to use this form of education.

One of the most successful components of MUSI involves identifying lead teachers--those whose methods of teaching are especially interactive and exciting--and providing them with in-depth training on inquiry-based curriculum. The training is taught by instructors at the Center for Mathematics and Science Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Once they've completed their training, the teachers will take this knowledge back to their schools and classrooms and share it with the other faculty. The program operates on the premise that peers listen better to peers and will be more receptive to listening to each other and sharing, rather than listening to their administrators. (Year of image: 2001)

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