Melhuish awarded NSF grant to study MHT education assessment tool

Jayme Blaschke, Director of Media Relations | September 10, 2018

Kate Melhuish, assistant professor of mathematics at Texas State University

SAN MARCOS – Kate Melhuish, assistant professor of mathematics at Texas State University, has been awarded a nearly-$2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to refine, expand and validate a formative assessment of teaching tool called Math Habits Tool (MHT) for kindergarten through 8th grade classrooms.

The four-year grant was awarded by the Discovery Research K-12 Program of the Division of Research on Learning and will fund Melhuish’s research project, "Using Technology to Capture Classroom Interactions (UTCCI): The Design, Validation and Dissemination of a Formative Assessment of Instruction Tool for Diverse K-8 Mathematics Classrooms."

An important aspect of mathematics teaching and learning is the timely and targeted feedback on teaching and learning processes. Many of the tools and resources focused on providing such feedback are aimed at student assessments, but teaching assessments can be equally transformative and can be a key component of improved teacher practice. The MHT was developed as a means for K-8 mathematics teachers and researchers to collect in-the-moment data about what students and teachers are doing in mathematics classrooms. Such information can then support teachers in analyzing their practice, and improving the effectiveness of their teaching. 

The research seeks to establish the connection between teaching actions and students' mathematical activity and learning. Particular attention will be given to increasing accessibility to mathematics learning for students who are traditionally underserved, including emergent bilingual students.

The MHT, operated either via tablet or computer, is intended for use by researchers, teacher leaders, principals, coaches and others interested in assessing teacher practice in a fine-grained or formative way.

The project is a joint effort between Melhuish's Texas State team, including Alejandra Sorto and Sharon Strickland, Portland State University's Eva Thanheiser and Amanda Sugimoto, and the Teachers Development Group's Ruth Heaton. 

About the DRK-12 Program

The Discovery Research preK-12 program seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools. Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 188,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922