The MARS Team

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Note: This is a static, archived copy of the website for a project that finished in 2007. Much of the material here is still useful and worth preserving, but obviously some of it is now out-of-date, particularly in relation to current standards and curricula. Some features may not work correctly and there will be some broken links, invalid email addresses. For more recent work by members of the Toolkit team see The Mathematics Improvement Network and The Math Assessment Project.

The MARS Team

The MARS Team is a collaboration of research and development groups at Michigan State University, the University of California at Berkeley, the Shell Centre at the University of Nottingham in the UK, and Inverness Research Associates.

Project Directors

Mary Bouck, Michigan State University, is a former mathematics teacher and school administrator. She is an experienced professional development leader, has developed curriculum materials, and was a member of writing group for NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Her work on the Toolkit is particularly focused on system-level challenges to improvement programs and how they may be tackled.

Hugh Burkhardt leads the design and development team at the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education, based at the University of Nottingham. Their work is focused on developing 'well-engineered' research-based resources for mathematics teachers. These include curriculum units and assessments that cover skills, conceptual understanding, and solving problems in both 'pure' and 'functional' mathematics. Also a Visiting Professor at MSU, he is the 'architect' of the Toolkit.

Phil Daro, University of California, has served as project leader for New Standards Assessments and the California Mathematics and English subject matter projects. He acts as a consultant to numerous states and school districts that are trying to set and meet high standards for all students.

Daniel Pead is Technical Director of MARS, and the designer of the Toolkit website. In addition to his leadership of all the ICT work of the team, he has led the design of a wide range of educational software including World Class Tests, World of Number and the graphing-modelling package Coypu.

Alan Schoenfeld , U.C. Berkeley, is author of Mathematical Problem Solving, and was lead author for the 9-12 grade band of NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. His research focuses on mathematical thinking, teaching, and learning.

Mark St John leads the Inverness Research Associates team, which provides independent evaluative feedback to MARS, as well as strategic guidance to the Directorate.

Sandra K. Wilcox, Michigan State University, has led the work of MARS in the design of materials and services that are focused on professional development for and through assessment. Her roles in the Toolkit reflect this. Her areas of interest are the preparation and continuing professional development of preservice and inservice teachers of mathematics, particularly at the elementary and middle grades.

Team Members

Alan Bell has led the analytical research work of the Shell Centre team concerning the nature of mathematical activity and ways of encouraging richer mathematical activities in the classroom, the identification of student misconceptions in particular mathematical topics and on designing general teaching approaches to deal with these common psychological obstacles.

Rita Crust, a lead designer in the MARS team, is an experienced teacher, teacher educator, and designer of curriculum and assessment. She leads the design of MARS US Balanced Assessment tests and is focused on the assessment-related elements of the Toolkit.

Elizabeth Jones, Michigan State University and the Lansing Public Schools, has taught elementary and middle school students for the past 30 years and has conducted numerous professional development workshops and institutes. She has interests in the development of teachers as leaders, and how to help teachers enhance learning through mathematical discussions.

Anil Talwalker provides administrative and secretarial support to the project at Michigan State University, building on the earlier work of Marcia Ratliff.

Malcolm Swan is co-director of the Nottingham MARS team. He and his colleagues have designed and developed well-engineered research-based materials, from The Language of Functions and Graphs onwards. His current work in the US is on supporting middle- and high-school teachers in helping students to learn through their mistakes and misconceptions.

Project Evaluation

Mark St. John, president of Inverness Research Associates, has served as an evaluator for NSF systemic initiatives and as a trouble-shooter for schools, states, and districts trying to provide rich mathematical experiences for their students.

Mary Regan leads the evaluative work of Inverness Research Associates on ICT aspects of the Toolkit design.

Pam Tambe of Inverness Research Associates is particularly concerned with issues of interpersonal dynamics of the Toolkit in use as part of an improvement program.

We are grateful to many people, too numerous to list, who have provided constructive feedback or individual entries.

The mathematical photographs are by Richard Phillips from his collection Mathematical World.