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Last Updated: March 16, 2020, 11:00 pm

Touro College Graduate School of Education (GSE) Awarded $1.4 Million Education, Innovation and Research Program Grant

Presented by U.S. Department of Education, Grant Will Enhance Math, Music and Computational Thinking Instruction in Kindergarten Classrooms

December 16, 2019

A $1.4 million grant was presented by the U.S. Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, a division of the United States Department of Education, to Touro College Graduate School of Education (GSE), the college announced today. Chosen as one of 43 recipients across the country, the Education, Innovation and Research Program grant will establish the Young Academic Music and Computational Thinking (YAM) project, a new curriculum that will lead to improved outcomes in music, mathematics and social-emotional learning for high-need urban and rural kindergarten students. Once the pilot programs are completed, the curriculum will be fully available online.

YAM is a scalable program that incorporates a revised curriculum and teacher professional development to engage kindergarten students’ natural curiosity, love for music and desire for experimentation. A knowledge base and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) will also be cultivated among students.

“A STEM knowledge base offers anyone entering the workforce a competitive edge. A STEM-ready workforce creates the opportunity for better jobs, especially for traditionally underrepresented youth from rural areas,” said Dr. Susan Courey, Program Chair of the Early Child Education and Special Education program at GSE.

“This exciting program integrates mathematics, music, and computational thinking in an engaging way for kindergartners. Young children will learn rhythm and music notation, while fun and creative activities will provide structured opportunities for students to connect math skills to music and computational thinking at an early age,” continued Courey.

GSE will lead the coordination of the creation and implementation of the curriculum in Austin, Texas and New York City (NYC). After the completion of four pilot programs, results will be reviewed to assess what is working and what is challenging for teachers with little training in the music and technology fields. SRI International will evaluate the efficacy of the final curriculum by measuring student outcomes in 35 high-need rural classrooms in Austin and 35 high-need classrooms in NYC.  Approximately 1,000 kindergarten students will participate in the efficacy study and data will be collected for a period of two years.

Partners including Daniel’s Music Foundation, The University of Texas at Austin, and The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, will play critical roles in enhancing the YAM program’s effectiveness through continuous evaluation of impact, providing ongoing review of lesson implementation, curriculum, and program development. Partners will also assist with the creation of instructional videos to help teachers involved in the project. WestEd will act as a consultant, guiding the creation of teaching materials and the development of a Web-based downloadable teacher’s guide with accompanying teacher tools and training videos.

About the Touro College and University System

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,200 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: www.touro.edu/news