What can a parent do to provide Project SEED classes to his or her child?
Project SEED works with schools and districts to provide instruction to entire classes. Visit a SEED class if you are near one. Speak to your child’s teacher, your principal, or any district administrators you know about arranging a Project SEED demo. Have them contact us.
How do we incorporate Project SEED course material?
Project SEED instruction is designed for entire classes as a supplement to the district’s mathematics program. Instruction typically takes place four periods a week. Classes last for up to 14 weeks.
Does the Project SEED specialist replace the regular teacher?
No, the regular classroom teacher remains in the room as a participant and observer. This provides a cornerstone of Project SEED’s professional development for teachers.
What ages or grades does Project SEED serve?
While most Project SEED instruction is provided to students in grades 2-8 to prepare them for success in high school mathematics, the method is successful with students of all ages.
Will Project SEED raise students’ scores on standardized testing?
Most students show a remarkable improvement in testing on mathematics. While results may vary, we have consistently found that our programs raise students’ test scores by building algebraic and critical thinking and reinforcing basic skills.
How can parents get involved?
Strong family support is a crucial factor in children’s academic success. When parents value education, so do their children. Parents who support their children by reading to them and checking their homework make a priceless contribution to their children’s education.
Project SEED welcomes parent visitors to observe a Project SEED class in action. Presentations at parent meetings are another great way to understand our approach.
How does Project SEED acknowledge student achievement?
Some districts hold gala award celebrations at the conclusion of Project SEED programs to acknowledge student achievements, and often include class skits and songs about studying advanced mathematics. Students are presented with achievement certificates. These evenings are particularly enjoyable and demonstrate students’ enthusiasm for learning mathematics with Project SEED.
Do you offer any mathematics training to parents?
Yes, Project SEED also offers math workshops for parents that address real-life situations, topics in students’ homework, and advanced mathematics.
Project SEED staff also participates with school staff in family math nights and offer activities that increase parents’ participation. For example, Project SEED-sponsored essay contests offer students the opportunity to express how their Project SEED experiences impact other aspects of their life, their community, and their future.
What programs can Project SEED offer corporations?
Project SEED’s services for corporations are based on instructional, communication and management skills developed and tested by Project SEED over the last 50 years.
Project SEED provides training in communications for teams of mathematicians, research scientists, and engineers. Modeled after Project SEED’s training of its own staff, this training improves the ability of highly skilled and motivated individuals to work toward a common goal. It creates stronger, more effective and more productive work teams.
Former Texas Instruments Training Manager Ralph Dosher praised Project SEED’s training methods as a successful model for any type of corporate training. Project SEED also works with corporate training managers to improve the design of their own training programs.
In addition, Project SEED provides corporations with expert trainers in transition chaos management strategies. The theories of transition chaos management assist managers and team leaders in creating focus and building teams with individuals whose success has previously been based on personal achievement rather than group effort. In the book, “The Mythical Man-Month,” Brooks states that managing software engineers is akin to “herding cats.” Project SEED’s transition chaos management strategies are intended to address this type of management problem and have been used successfully at Bell Laboratories and IBM.
Does Project SEED work with higher education and universities?
The higher education component of Project SEED consists of both classroom instruction for college students and training for faculty in effective instructional strategies.
Many students enter college unprepared to succeed in college-level mathematics courses. Their anxiety and feelings of mathematical inadequacy are often more pronounced than elementary and middle school students. Based on the guided discovery of mathematical concepts, courses developed by Project SEED staff are successful in dissolving students’ feelings of mathematical inferiority, improving their fundamental skills and preparing them for success in advanced courses.
For instance, a course developed over 20 years ago by Project SEED staff at the University of Washington has enabled thousands of students to complete their basic mathematics requirement, enabling them to pursue careers in a wide variety of technical and non-technical fields.
“One of my former students turned up as the owner of a small business I happened into, having successfully graduated with a major in business administration. Another accosted me in a mall one day because she had been wanting for years to thank me for a career as a physical therapist, using a degree she could not have completed without the mathematics we taught her.”
-Dr. Virginia Warfield, Mathematics Department, University of Washington
Training for Higher Education Faculty
Project SEED also provides training for higher education faculty in its dynamic, Socratic-based instructional method. Although college and university faculty possess strong knowledge of their subject, they frequently are unfamiliar with teaching methods other than lecturing. Even the most brilliant lecturers are often dismayed to discover at exam time that their students have failed to master concepts that were clearly explained in class. By continually asking questions and receiving feedback from the class, a Project SEED trained instructor is able to immediately ascertain whether students understand the material, and can take corrective action if necessary. Students, at all levels, who are guided to construct their own knowledge, have greater understanding and retention than those who passively listen to lectures.
For example, undergraduate sections at the University of Chicago taught by a Project SEED trained instructor were so popular that the university asked him to provide training for all the teaching assistants the following year. Project SEED has been approached by Indiana University/Purdue University School of Medicine to develop a training program for faculty who will be asked to teach a problem-based curriculum using the Socratic method.
“I can say unequivocally that my SEED experience was the most significant pedagogical experience I have ever had. It has influenced virtually all of my professional activities since that time. I still use a lot of [SEED techniques] daily as I teach adults in my role as a community college mathematics faculty member.”
-Dr. Herbert C. Lyon, Professor of Mathematics and former President, Black Hawk College
“The SEED experience has changed my whole attitude toward teaching. I’m now convinced that the single most important ingredient is involvement on the part of the student. This new attitude has affected both the way I help my son with his homework and the way I teach my courses at Yale.”
-Dr. Robert Sczarba, Mathematics Department, Yale University
“SEED has altered my college teaching style for the mathematically deprived and non-confident students of Clark College as well as for the highly motivated students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…SEED’s techniques compel students to think. These techniques generate mathematical growth, independence, and self-confidence in all students, but particularly in minority students.”
-Dr. Louise Raphael, Mathematics Department, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University and MIT