Learning Trajectories for Integrating K-5 Computer Science and Mathematics

LTEC Staff Profile: George Reese

March 06, 2017

Name: George Reese

LTEC Role: Senior staff

Professional Background: Professional Background: High School Mathematics Teacher at Santa Fe Public Schools and Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) in Santa Fe, NM. I have a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. For the past 15 years, I have been the Director of the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE). We were STEM before STEM was a thing.

Why is LTEC my jam? This is the first time in my career that I have had a chance to work with elementary school students and teachers. Elementary schools are the place where it REALLY is all about learning. Young children absorb knowledge quickly, and many of their teachers acknowledge this and learn from them. In addition, computer science, and coding in particular, are shaking things up in a good way. It gives us a chance to think about mathematics in a new way. Boolean logic, for example, is important for making programs. But it’s not part of the elementary math curriculum,….yet.

My work: I enjoy working a liaison between the university researchers and the practicing teachers. They are different worlds and do not always interact in productive ways. Typically, schools are locations for researchers to gather data. And universities are places for teachers to take classes. I most enjoy finding ways for a mutuality of engagement that steps out of those typical roles. I hope for research environments where teachers come up with the questions and work together with the researchers, and I work toward university spaces that are welcome teachers as producers of new knowledge.

What I do with my spare time: I am the Board President for the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM). Shout out to http://ictm.org.

Fun facts

  • I went to a “Great Books” school as an undergraduate.
  • I am a Shakespeare buff, and, when I can, spend a week during the year in Stratford, Ontario at the Shakespeare festival.
  • Pythagoras is mentioned in three different Shakespeare plays. But it’s never about math. Instead, Shakespeare knew him for the theory of the transmigration of souls from humans to animals.

Connect with me