Pre-algebra skills – ratios, proportions, linear equations – are the foundation of all higher maths and sciences, yet are not well taught in most countries. Such math tends to be a gate-keeper in many countries: for example, 70% of US adults are, on average, are pre-algebra illiterate (Eric Gaze, https://search.proquest.com/docview/1696012768?pq-origsite=gscholar). Developing countries have worse pre-algebra scores.
Our proposal builds on four previous studies/workshops that we or our collaborators have undertaken:
1) We can conclusively improve students’ understanding and skills in pre-algebra, when we use astronomy as a medium, compared to their learnings in traditional classrooms (see http://new.seceij.net/articletype/research/persistent-and-encouraging-achievement-gains-on-common-core-aligned-items/);
2) We have proven that remotely delivered teacher workshops are as effective as face-to-face workshops as measured by gains in students’ understanding on assessment items (see HsingChi A. Wang, Richard T. Houang, William H. Schmidt, Alan Gould, Carl Pennypacker, AERA, 2004);
3) Teachers often don’t implement their learnings from workshops if the workshops last less than 3 weeks;
4) We can recruit teachers in developing countries who are eager to learn modern astronomy, the use of technology, and use modern pedagogy.
Here we propose a series of workshops amounting to 3 weeks exposure for teachers in developing countries. The workshops will be a series remote 16 Saturdays.