University STEM Initiative

Partnering for Math Success

Summer Institutes Offer Teachers Enrichment and Leadership Skills

Area teachers have been going back into the classroom this summer to become leaders and better educators as part of the Collaboration for Leadership and Improvement in Math Education (CLIME), a California Department of Education-funded program.

Partnering in the effort are Cal State Fullerton, where the program’s summer institutes are being taught; Chapman University; Centralia, Cypress and Magnolia school districts; Calvary Chapel and Grace Christian schools; and St. Irenaeus Parish School.

A total of 70 third- through sixth-grade teachers are taking part in two summer institutes being offered. The first session was held in July; the second began Monday, Aug. 1.

The goal of the three-year program is to “enrich the teachers’ mathematics knowledge and to prepare them for leadership roles as it pertains to the instruction of mathematics,” said Patrick M. Kimani, assistant professor of mathematics at Cal State Fullerton and recipient of a $25,603 subcontract from the Centralia School District to oversee the summer institutes.

“Last year, the California State Board of Education voted to adopt the common core state standards aimed at establishing consistent and clear education standards and better preparing students for college,” said Kimani. “We believe that it is important to prepare teachers now for these new standards that will go into effect in 2014.”

He explained that the focus is on “deepening the understanding of mathematics for teachers, so that they can explain to their students why formulas work, how math concepts fit together. Students want to see the links and how concepts work together — it helps them better understand the math.

“We’re also discussing pedagogical issues and working with teachers to increase their confidence in their ability to teach mathematics. We aim to position these teachers to not only be better mathematics teachers, but to take leadership roles in their schools during the implementation phase of the new standards,” he said.

This year’s eight-day sessions cover geometry and measurement. Next year’s sessions will be centered on measurement and statistics.

In addition to the 60 hours of professional development that the teachers are receiving during the summer institute, they will participate in 24 hours of follow-up activities during the school year, said Amy Edmundson of the Centralia School District. The participating educators will undergo a total of 84 hours of professional development per year over the course of three years in the form of mathematics content enrichment, lesson design and research-based best practices, she added.

The institutes are led by Kimani; Armando Martinez-Cruz, CSUF professor of mathematics; Adrian Vajiac, associate professor of mathematics, and Michael Fahy, professor of mathematics, at Chapman University; as well as Edmundson and Rena Gibbs of the Centralia School District.

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Media Contacts:
Patrick M. Kimani, Mathematics, 657-278-3631 or

Pamela McLaren, Public Affairs, 657-278-4852 or




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