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Posted 03/14/2015 12:00AM

Brunswick, GA – The School of Education and Teacher Preparation has been awarded a state Improving Teacher Quality grant for an innovative outreach proposal to assist teachers for grades 4-8 provide practical math instruction in their classrooms through cooking in the kitchen and the science of food. The multi-discipline approach is a collaboration between the School of Education and Teacher Preparation, the Department of Mathematics of the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Culinary Arts program of the School of Business and Public Affairs.

“The overarching goal of this project is to provide quality professional learning experiences targeted for grade 4-8 teachers that expand the scope of their mathematics content knowledge through the culinary arts. The strategies should integrate students’ perception of mathematics with their everyday lives, deepen their conceptual knowledge of mathematical and scientific processes, develop students’ problem solving and critical thinking skills, and improve students’ interest through real-world application,” Dr. Sharon Sellers-Clark, Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Field Experiences, and the project director, explained.

Dr. Courtenay Miller, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, and Dr. Laura Lynch, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, will serve as project co-directors. Faculty and students of the College’s accredited Culinary Arts program will serve as consultants.

“In grades 4-5, the combination of math and cooking includes multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, scaling/resizing, measurement, conversion and word problems ranging from time intervals to money, cost and portion sizes,” Dr. Sellers-Clark said. “In grades 6-8, math education includes concepts such as ratios, percentages, proportions and equations, all of which can be illustrated through cooking.”

Twelve teachers in the Glynn County, Dooley County and Camden County public school systems will be invited to participate in the two-week summer workshop. The United Way of Coastal Georgia will serve as a community partner, recruiting up to 24 students in grades 4-8 through sponsored summer enrichment programs that provide children with hands-on experiences.

“We are combining intensive teacher training with appropriately-aged children to test the effectiveness of this approach,” Dr. Sellers-Clark noted. “The Culinary Arts consultants are developing six recipes that can be used in the classroom and will train the instructors in food preparation. The co-directors will provide guidance in tying together the recipes and the state standards for lesson plans. They will also visit the participating teachers’ classrooms during the fall to provide support and ensure successful implementation.”

From buying groceries to making bread, cobblers and lasagna, math is part of the cooking process, Dr. Sellers-Clark pointed out. “This is using a practical application to develop lesson plans that instructors will then test with real students during the workshop.”
College of Coastal Georgia
John Cornell
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