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Clara Lee Brown- headshotA UT professor has received a state grant to provide professional development to teachers of English language learners at two Knox County schools so they can help their students better grasp mathematics concepts.

Clara Lee Brown received the 2014 Improving Teacher Quality grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for her proposal, Mathematical Literacy for English Language Learners. Through the program, she will provide yearlong professional development programs to teachers at Northwest Middle School and Lonsdale Elementary School, both of which have high percentages of students for whom English is not a first language.

Brown is a teacher educator and associate professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

She developed the project to assist middle school math teachers and elementary teachers with effective instructional strategies to meet the academic and linguistic needs in mathematics of English language learners.

The Improving Teacher Quality grant is funded under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. It aims to provide high-quality professional development programs to teachers in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

English language learners are the fastest-growing student subgroup population in the nation. Knox County Schools has the fourth largest English language learner population in Tennessee.

Last year, Brown received an Improving Teacher Quality grant to help social studies and science teachers teach their subject matter to English language learners. Currently fifteen social studies and science teachers from Oak Ridge Schools and Anderson County Schools are participating in the program.