Astronomy to Develop Pre-Algebra Skills

Pre-algebra skills — ratios, proportions, linear equations — are the foundation for all higher math and sciences, yet are not well taught in most nations. Such math tends to be a gate-keeper in many nations~ 70% of US adults are, on the average, pre-algebra illiterate ( Eric Gaze, Developing nations have worse pre-algebra scores. Our proposal builds on four previous studies/workshops 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; 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 are under 3 weeks. 4) We can recruit teachers in developing nations, 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 of exposure for teachers in developing nations. The workshops will be a series remote 16 Saturdays.