Holt Wilson NC2MLImproving K-12 mathematics education is a critical challenge for educational practitioners, leaders, and researchers. Dr. Holt Wilson and his team of collaborators are creating a new model for statewide reform of mathematics teaching and learning through the development of and research on curriculum materials, teaching strategies, and professional development programming.

Dr. Wilson, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, is the director of The North Carolina Collaborative for Mathematics Learning (NC²ML), a research-practice partnership comprised of researchers from six universities in the UNC system, STEM leaders from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and mathematics educators from school districts across the state. Their mission is to support the implementation of the North Carolina K-12 Mathematics Standards.

Since their inception in 2016, they have developed, shared, and refined an extensive collection of implementation resources for teachers, coaches, and district curriculum leaders. The math resources developed through this initiative have been accessed by over 30,000 teachers. Across the state, 80% of all districts are using some of the high school materials that have been developed and 90% of districts are using the K-8 materials. This has been an enormous effort, and NC²ML recently received the 2018 Innovator Award from the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The Innovator Award recognizes outstanding and noteworthy contributions to mathematics education in North Carolina.

Read the details of their well-deserved award below.

NCCTM 2018 Innovator Award Presentation

Thursday, November 1, 2018

This dedicated and selfless group of mathematics educators saw a critical need for resources and professional development as North Carolina transitioned to new mathematics standards. Starting at the high school level, Holt Wilson from UNC-Greensboro, Allison McCullough from UNC-Charlotte, Katie Mawhinney from Appalachian State, and Jared Webb from North Carolina A&T developed educational briefs on content and pedagogy to support districts and math teachers across the state. They provided professional development modules and supporting documents to help teachers make sense of the mathematics content and put into practice research-based pedagogies to teach mathematics. They created virtual professional communities that enable all teachers to have access to high-quality tasks and resources for students.

For elementary and middle school teachers, the work centered on the development, refinement, editing, and final creation of the Instructional Frameworks. This is the first time that there has been a state-wide group brought together, given ownership of, and produced state-wide recommendations for the unitizing of specific mathematics concepts and standards, as well as a recommended order in which to teach those units based on research. Katie Schwartz from East Carolina and Michelle Stephan from UNC Charlotte have led this work in elementary and middle grades, respectively. For the first time, all districts have access to common, research-based instructional frameworks to guide cohesive and coherent mathematics education. This is invaluable to small districts or those with no curriculum team to do this work. The possibilities are endless as we think of how this common language and framework lends itself to collaboration, shared resources and research, and access to quality instructional materials across the state. Additionally, this work led to the creation of the Tools4NCTeachers website that includes elementary resources and materials that correlate with the new mathematics standards.

With passionate letters of nominations from several districts and institutions of higher education, NCCTM proudly presents the North Carolina Collaborative for Mathematics Learning with the 2018 Innovator Award — Congratulations, NC²ML!