"Teachers love working with ALANM curricula because in ALANM activities, student thinking is the centerpiece. The classroom is full of student drawings, student voices, student questions, and student reasoning. No one is passive."
-- Mark Trushkowsky, Mathematics Staff Developer at the
CUNY Adult Literacy/HSE Program, New York City
About Adult Numeracy
Adult numeracy programs provide math instruction to help adult learners reach high school equivalency, college readiness, and other goals, but these programs are hampered by factors that include limited funding and instructional time, weak instructional materials, and inadequate instructor training. In addition to these weaknesses, new content standards, high school equivalency exams, and workforce-related goals are adding a great deal of complexity to the system.
ALANM provides a research- and standards-based approach to curriculum and pedagogy that prepares students to engage in their communities as thoughtful, critically-minded citizens, pass high school equivalency math tests, and enter postsecondary education with a reduced need for remediation in mathematics.
ALANM curricula and teaching are designed to help students gain a broad range of mathematical abilities that include fluency with procedures, and go beyond this to include conceptual understanding, reasoning skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills.
About Adult Mathematics
Community colleges place many freshmen into developmental (0-credit) math courses, and many of these students struggle to ever earn college credits in math, or a degree or certificate of any kind. Developmental math teaching generally suffers from inadequate instructional time, lecture-based teaching, and an over-emphasis on procedural content.
ALANM promotes an active-learning approach to developmental algebra that goes beyond rote, procedural teaching to include conceptual understanding, reasoning skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills. ALANM also supports the movement towards new math pathways (e.g., co-requisite statistics, or developmental pre-statistics) for students in non-STEM majors. An ALANM pre-statistics curriculum is in development.
ALANM Director Steve Hinds was the founder of the CUNY Start math curriculum and instructor induction model, and that project is showing that the right mixture of instructor training, instructional intensity, rich curriculum materials, active-learning pedagogy, and student support can lead a majority of students with profound developmental math needs to complete developmental math in one semester.
ALANM work also includes a recent focus on improving student performance in gateway algebra courses at community colleges. The term "gateway algebra" generally refers to the first course in the calculus sequence that students take after they pass or place out of developmental math. Part of the significant attrition in STEM majors can be traced to poor performance in these courses.
Steve Hinds' work in education has focused on devising curriculum, professional development, and research projects, especially for programs that serve adults and other students who have had difficulty learning mathematics.
In addition to directing ALANM and teaching his own students, Steve is a reviewer for the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) and has worked as a Subject Matter Expert for a variety of U.S. Department of Education-funded projects.
Prior to creating ALANM, Steve worked as a Curriculum Developer at UChicago STEM Education, located at the University of Chicago.
Before moving to Chicago, Steve was the University Mathematics Professional Developer at The City University of New York (CUNY) Office of Academic Affairs where he led a variety of curriculum and professional development projects serving adult literacy, middle school, high school, and community college developmental math students.
Steve began his education career as a high school math teacher in New Haven, Connecticut, where he also conducted pre-service/in-service professional development for the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and the New Haven Public Schools.
Steve lives in Chicago and enjoys cycling and playing the fiddle in his string band, Blackest Crow.
Click here for Steve's curriculum vitae.
Truman College students Jeremy and Saheed examine a function in an adult numeracy class.