Robin HumelRobin Hummel

Bank Street College of Education was recently awarded a $50,000 grant to support an online fieldwork and advisement pilot for the Leadership in Mathematics Education.

The grant comes from 100Kin10, an organization driven by the goal of “providing America’s classrooms with 100,000 excellent science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021,” according to its website.

Robin Hummel, Program Director for Bank Street’s math leadership programs, and Steven Goss, Director of Online Learning at Bank Street, will lead the effort to pilot the College’s first effort at taking student fieldwork and advisement entirely online. The pilot program will connect math teachers with Bank Street experts online over the course of a semester in order to test and improve the distance learning experience for Bank Street’s graduate students.

The program will continue to build upon the student-centered approach for which Bank Street is famous.

“Translating Bank Street pedagogy for distance teaching and learning requires much more than simply writing courses for online,” says Hummel. “The program will continue to build upon the student-centered approach for which Bank Street is famous. When you go through a program together with the same people, taking the same courses at the same time, and come to rely on each other to learn and grow, learning is a collaborative experience. Creating that experience online is possible because the connections don’t begin and end during classroom hours.”

The program has already begun adapting courses to online learning. Making fieldwork and advisement available at a distance is the final element needed to provide students the option of earning the master’s degree entirely online. Whichever version students choose, the student-to-advisor ratio will remain small at 7-to-1. Work on the project will begin during the fall 2013 semester, and the pilot is expected to begin in spring 2014.