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Federal Institute Awards $10 Million for New Math Center

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $10 million to create a new math center that will "apply the latest cognitive science principles" to redesign a widely-used middle school mathematics curriculum and conduct research to gauge how the changes affect student learning, according to a press release on the announcement.

The new National Center for Cognition and Mathematics Instruction, to be led by the research firm WestEd, will bring together leading experts in a number of fields, from cognition and instruction to assessment and research design to work on the Connected Mathematics Project curriculum.

"The math center's research, development, and management team has some of the most outstanding university cognitive scientists in the nation working on this redesign effort," said Steve Schneider, a senior program director at WestEd, said in the press release, issued last week. "We hope to help students improve their conceptual understanding of mathematics and their ability to apply that understanding to real-world problems."

The grant was just one of many issued last week by the the Institute of Education Sciences—the main research arm of the Education Department—as my colleague Debbie Viadero noted over at Inside School Research.

It also comes as the IES last month announced another $10 million grant to launch a new research and development center at the University of Delaware focused on improving math instruction for middle schoolers.

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