Math Education Improvement Service (MEIS)
Scholarship grants are temporarily discontinued. Check website for resumption.
Scholarships are for post-graduate and senior-level work for persons in math education or planning to enter it. Present college juniors majoring in math should apply. Each scholarship is for $7200, paid in 8 installments over an academic year or two summers. Generally, payment is made through the recipient's college aid office. No education courses are funded. Courses must improve math-teaching competence and include non-math courses, utilizing math, e.g. science, accounting, etc. When in doubt, a recipient should contact MEIS. In our opinion math teachers often lack knowledge outside math, they should have. Repeatedly I have met math teachers unfamiliar with amortization, much less the math involved. A list of courses to be taken during the time the scholarship is paid out must be submitted for approval. Upon approval, recipients must pass the courses and attend the classes. Failure to do so will result in a cut off in payments.
The basic requirement for receiving the scholarship is passing a test on known-step analysis of proportion problems. This analysis is common and comes up ad hoc in school math. The school-taught proportion-problem analysis, including SAT-prep is based on equations: X/A = B/C with X standing for the value sought and A, B, C the values known; or on the equation, X = fraction of value sought. The latter requires no algebra procedures but forming the fraction is often hard, and hard to explain. Also, when analysis leads to more equations, the order of the equating them is important.
Forming Problems into Math, Part II, serves as preparation: both what to expect and how to do the work. The test is hard, requiring understanding of the material and ability to present it in a classroom. Further some problems require some basic know-how in breaking situations down into their parts. Test takers should be familiar with common measures and everyday applications of math like amortization, pressure, etc. Much of this is included in the test-preparation material as experiences to illustrate skills or practice them on.
MEIS seeks areas where it can improve math education. Generally, its backers want to remain anonymous. Presently the area offering the most opportunity is texts. Widely used ones are built around math experiences: students are to learn math skills by seeing them applied and trying to do likewise in one experience after the other. This is particularly true in forming problems into math. Students see a range of skills applied in a sequence and try to duplicate the process. An analogy is a future cook, preparing and serving a multi-course dinner after watching it done. From watching he learned: the recipes, the cooking, the table setting, running the dishwasher, etc., all for one meal. The next meal triggers another sequence with its recipes. Essentially this is a review or test approach, leaving the skill learning to the student to do on his own through observation and trial. Fortunately for our stomachs, the elements of food preparation are learned separately with more learning about coordinating them. Heading math education in this direction would make it more nutritious, digestible and taste better. We believe in teaching skills, using experiences to illustrate them and for practice on them. These experiences are carefully selected and/or composed to illustrate or provide practice for a skill, an element of one, or coordinating them.
Scholarship grants are temporarily discontinued until preparation material is ready. Check back at this webpage for resumption.
Expect no response to non-English communications or inquires lacking full US-mail address. Scholarship grants and work with materials require good working knowledge of English.
Further information may be obtained by mail.