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Pre-K-8 Preservice Teacher Action Research Grants

Supported by the Ernest Duncan Fund and NCTM 

 “The project is to study the impact of iPads have on math journaling in a first grade classroom and the applications that pre-service teachers will gain through this research process. This project will equip first grade students with 21st century technology and learning skills to become effective digital global citizens.” 

“Finally, preservice teachers will have the opportunity to gain valuable mathematical and technology skills in the context of a real-world first grade setting.” 

                   ~ Mandi J. Wicks, 2012-13 Awardee 

Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM 2014) suggests that teachers must identify what counts as evidence of student progress toward mathematics learning goals and reflect on evidence to inform the planning of future
instruction (p. 56). Additionally, teachers should work collaboratively with colleagues, families, and community members to ensure that all students have the support they need to maximize success in the mathematics classroom (p. 69).

The purpose of this grant is to provide financial support for action research conducted as a collaborative by university faculty, preservice teacher(s), and classroom teacher(s) seeking to improve their understanding of mathematics in Pre-K–8 classroom(s). For 2015–2016, a grant up to a maximum of $3,000 will be awarded 

Primary emphasis will be placed on collaboration by a team of researchers consisting of university, elementary/middle school teachers, and preservice teachers from the undergraduate ranks. The action research should be designed, implemented, and completed with a focus on enhancing the teaching and/or learning of mathematics in Grades Pre-K–8. 

Proposals must address the following: rationale for the research project, the expected impact on teaching/learning in the school setting, and anticipated improvements in preservice student learning. Grant funds should be used to support project expenses to plan and carry out the action research.

The applicant must be a current (on or before April 24, 2015) Full Individual or E-Member of NCTM or must teach at a school with a current (on or before April 24, 2015) NCTM Pre-K–8 school membership. The applicant may be either a teacher in the Pre-K-8 classroom, a mathematics coach assigned to work with the classroom(s) where the research will be conducted, or a university mathematics educator. The participating preservice teacher(s) must be in an initial licensure/certification program at the undergraduate level and, at some point during the term of the grant, must be engaged in some form of practicum experience or student teaching.

No individual may receive more than one award administered by the Mathematics Education Trust in the same academic year. Past recipients of this grant are not eligible to reapply. The action research is to be conducted between June 1, 2015, and August 31, 2016.

Interested individuals are invited to submit a proposal. The 2015–2016 MET Proposal Cover Form must be completed and serve as the top page of each copy of the proposal. The proposal must be typewritten, double-spaced and single-sided (please organize as outlined below), with margins of at least one inch on 8.5" x 11" paper. Font size must be no smaller than 10-point (Times Roman suggested), and width between characters should be normal (100%). Five copies (one original and four copies) of the proposal should be included in a single packet addressed to the Mathematics Education Trust at NCTM, 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. The application packet must be postmarked by May 4, 2015. Faxed copies will not be accepted. Duplicate applications will not be considered. 

Note: This grant is awarded to an individual. The award must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, and it is subject to federal income taxes. A Form 1099 will be sent to the grant recipient at the end of the calendar year. If you have any questions about your own income tax liability, you should contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax counsel. These sources can advise a recipient on the proper way to report project or program expenses. 

Proposal Requirements 

I.   Proposal Cover Form (Microsoft Word 2000 or higher required)  

II. Proposal Introduction (Three pages maximum)

  Provide a detailed rationale of the action research project, including its relevance to the teaching/learning of mathematics in Grades PreK–8.

  Describe the sources of information that will provide the team with information about teaching and/or learning and the methodology used to collect the information. How is this information to be assessed and interpreted?

  Describe how completing the proposed action research will help inform the university, the school district, and the preservice teacher(s) to improve teaching and impact students’ learning.

  Provide a timeline for the project with details for actions.

  Include an itemized budget (presented by line item in a table format). Funds may be used for books, supplies, and other expenses related to achieving the goals of the proposal.  

III. Background and Experience (One page maximum; outline format preferred)

  List the formal education of the applicant. Indicate the institution, type of degree, major, minor, and date each degree was granted.

  Give generalized “snapshot” of all other partners listed in the proposal. Indicate the relevant experience, teaching assignments, and other pertinent information for each.

  Include a description of the school and student demographics and the expected impact.

  Include a description of the preservice student demographics. Indicate the number of students, class level, and the connection to proposal (course, student club, service project).

IV. Principal’s Letter of Support (One page maximum)

  Letter must be signed by the Principal on school stationery, confirming the willingness to “host” the action research project in their school and indicate strong support for the proposal.

Final Report Requirements 

V. Include in the proposal an agreement to provide a final report.  

 Submit a final report (not to exceed FIVE double-spaced pages).

 Submit a draft of an article about the action research findings to be submitted for publication and the name of the place(s) submitted.

  Two-thirds of the approved budget, not to exceed $2,000 will be paid, if justification is submitted and approved, at the beginning of the project. The remainder of the grant will be paid on receipt of a final report and verified expenses (with receipts) related to the proposal.

The Mathematics Education Trust was established by
the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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