UNI Alum Receives Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

UNI alumnus Deb Little, a teacher in the Denver, Iowa, Community School District, was recently recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) for her approach to teaching mathematics. The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation. Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Deb Little

Little, who graduated from UNI with a B.A. in elementary education in 1987 and a master's in reading education in 1996, was among the 215 educators across the country to receive this award. She uses cognitively guided instruction to introduce and reinforce math concepts, a strategy where students are given a math problem and first asked to work it out on their own. Then, students interact with their peers to discover alternative approaches to solve the same problem. This approach helps students strengthen their understanding math by asking them to explain how they solved a problem while hearing other possible approaches from their classmates.

UNI's College of Education graduates more than 400 educators a year. Currently, one-fifth of Iowa's educator workforce are UNI alums. UNI operates the Center for Education Transformation, the State's Research and Development Center and brings together key partners to address critical needs facing students and schools.