The last post in this series about AIMS—past, present, and future—ended with the statement that in the next post I would talk about a vision for AIMS that would involve translating research into practice. In a sense, that is what AIMS has been doing over the years–but in a very general way–by exploring ways to make ideas, concepts, and relationships meaningful for students through hands-on, engaging activities.
There is so much more that is known today, through research, about how students come to know very specific concepts like the whole number sequence, measurement, fractions, and so on. While there are efforts in a few places to translate that research into practice, there is so much more that needs to done and can be done.
Translating research into practice is a major component of the vision for the future of AIMS. To achieve this vision, AIMS will need a new organizational structure; it will need strong involvement by university faculty and graduate students; and it will need a strong connection with other universities, with county offices of education, with school districts, and with other community and state organizations.
AIMS is now in the process of creating such a structure. It is called the AIMS Center for Math and Science Education at Fresno Pacific University.
The most important component of the Center is a renewed partnership with the Graduate Math/Science Program at the university. This is a matter of going back to our roots. The knowledge that university faculty bring to the Center will be critical to the work of absorbing the research and guiding the efforts to translate that research into practice.
The Center will also partner with other entities within the university, including the Teacher Education Program and the Undergraduate Math and Science programs. Outside of the university, the Center will be strongly connected to County Offices of Education, local school districts and other community and state educational organizations. An additional goal and hope is that the Center will over time be able to develop relationships with researchers at other universities.
The new organizational structure will involve new leadership for AIMS and for the Center. Lori Hamada will become the Director of the Center as of July 1. Lori brings outstanding leadership ability and experience to the position, along with a strong commitment to the mission and vision of AIMS and of the AIMS Center. On the Graduate Math/Science side of the Center, Chris Brownell, who is just completing his doctoral program, will be taking over as the director of that program.
These are times of change. I’m excited about the future AIMS and the AIMS Center as we continue on our mission to serve teachers and students as they teach and learn science and mathematics