FIU’s Colleges of Education and Law host Math & Civics Summer Academy at Miami Northwestern High School

FIU’s Colleges of Education and Law host Math & Civics Summer Academy at Miami Northwestern High School

Sponsored by a small grant from the Miami Foundation, the Algebra Project (AP) and the Colleges of Education & Law operated a six-week Math & Civics summer academy for upcoming tenth grade students at Miami Northwestern High School.

Monday through Thursday, students at Miami Northwestern engaged in learning mathematics by working with Dr. Bob Moses, President of the Algebra Project, and Rose Pierre, graduate of the College of Education’s math education Master’s program, along with six Young People’s Project (YPP) college math literacy workers.

The high school students were also coached in group process by the college’s Urban Education graduate student, Danielle McLaughlin.  College of Education professors, Maria Lovett and Joan Wynne, and FIU graduate, Gina Greenidge, also participated in visits to homes and other efforts to recruit new students into the newly forming 9th grade AP cohort program.

In addition as a part of that program, students, sponsored by Michelle Mason, Sr. Associate Dean of the College of Law (COL), came to the COL each Friday and learned the rudiments of Civic Engagement.

On their first Friday, Law Professor and former Judge Phyllis Kotey, engaged students in conversations about the Constitution and immersed students in Moot Court trials where students studied a case involving Fourth Amendment rights, alternated playing the roles of Judge, Prosecutor, and Defense Attorney and argued those positions.

The following week, students came again to the COL, and led by Global Learning Coordinator, Eric Feldman, learned the principles of democratic dialogue.  During the day’s opening discussion, Feldman invited students to exchange ideas about the current media outlets available to them to discuss civic issues: social media, for example, and whether these formats foster thoughtful and productive conversation about public problems.  Students learned how personal values influence civic participation, and engaged in activities exploring how their own values influence their decisions.  Using an abridged version of a National Issues Forum, the students also participated in “deliberative dialogues,” developed by the Kettering Foundation.

In July, students, led by the Young People’s Project college math literacy workers, participated in team building activities and conversations about the work of the Algebra Project and its roots in the leadership model of the Southern Freedom Movement.

They also engaged in leadership development and team building activities led by Franklin McCune and his lead team from the Center for Leadership & Service.  Through rigorous activities involving mental and physical challenges, students learned to work together as a team to creatively develop strategies for racing against time to complete tasks.

Students will continue throughout the summer and school year to engage in professional development activities to grow as an academic team, as leaders in civic action and as teachers of mathematics to younger children in Liberty City.  This program has created a broad coalition of partners interested in broadening the opportunities for academic growth of disenfranchised youth:  The Algebra Project; FIU Colleges of Education & Law; Miami Northwestern High School; FIU Office of Engagement; FIU Office of Global Learning; FIU Student Affairs and the Young People’s Project.

Article originally published by FIU College of Education. Read more.


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