The Authors

Mary Jane Schmitt

Mary Jane Schmitt, MEd, was the founder and first director of the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC. She was involved with adult numeracy—the intersection of the fields of adult education and mathematics education—for over thirty years. She taught and developed mathematics programs in Massachusetts and nationally. Both her doctoral work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and curriculum development work focused on inquiry into the nature of adults' mathematical thinking.

She was active in helping to establish the Adult Numeracy Network, an at-large affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She believed ABE/GED programs can be sites for communities of learners (teachers and students) to more effectively engage with the mathematical demands of society. She was the recipient of the 2004 COABE Kenneth J. Mattran Award, given to individuals who has a distinguished record of achievement in promoting literacy at the national or international level.

Myriam Steinback

Myriam Steinback, PhD, has taught mathematics at the community college and college levels and worked with teachers and prospective teachers on mathematics content and pedagogy.

At TERC, she was codirector of the EMPower Project. She directs the Investigations Workshops for Transforming Mathematics, a professional development project for K-5 teachers, leaders, math specialists; and administrators implementing the Investigations in Number, Data and Space curriculum developed at TERC. Her work with schools includes parents who want and need to know the math their children are learning so they can support them at home. She sees the same issues and challenges that other out-of-school youth and adult learners of math face: lack of confidence in their ability to do math, reluctance about being able to understand enough to help their children, and ideas about 'not having a math brain'. She believes that learning is a lifelong process.

Tricia Donovan

Tricia Donovan became a GED instructor in 1988, and worked for World Education as a Training and Development Specialist. Over the years, she had participated and led work in practitioner research projects and coordinated numerous mathematics training sessions and study groups for teachers from Massachusetts and elsewhere. She also served as the editor of The Problem Solver, a mathematics newsletter, for many years. Tricia received her doctorate in teacher education and curriculum studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focus was on epistemological change resulting from curriculum influences.

Martha Merson

Martha Merson has worked in adult basic education since 1988. She was the co-PI and project director of the Statistics for Action project at TERC. With Marlene Kliman, she contributed to the development of Mixing in Math activities and training resources for afterschool leaders and librarians serving elementary school aged children. Prior to her time at TERC, Merson taught all levels of adult basic education learners and trained volunteers for the Center for Literacy in Philadelphia and then provided staff development on math, social studies, and science and writing through the Adult Literacy Resource Institute, Boston Regional System for Adult Basic Education Support Center. Martha holds an MS in organizational leadership and curriculum instruction from the University of Pennsylvania.

Donna Curry

Donna Curry is an educator, curriculum developer and professional development specialist with over 25 years of experience in adult education.  For the past 15 years, she has focused on math standards development at the national level (Equipped for the Future National Standards and Standards-in-Action projects) and at the state level (including states such as Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Ohio).  She has also worked on the National Science Foundation EMPower project and served as co-director for the NSF Teachers Investigating Adult Numeracy (TIAN) project. Most recently she co-developed and implemented the Adult Numeracy Initiative (ANI) project.

Donna is also the Director of the SABES Center for Mathematics and Adult Numeracy, which provides professional development to adult education teachers in Massachusetts.
EMPower is part of the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC.
Developed and field tested by the Educational Research Collaborative at TERC with support from the National Science Foundation.