Edward James Thomas, Jr.
Ed Thomas is a nationally renowned math-instruction leader, known for his innovative and highly-effective math teaching strategies and student engagement activities. During his accomplished career, Ed has served as a public schools teacher grades K-12, central office math-curriculum and instruction administrator, university educator, published author, national presenter, and national consultant. The common threads in all these professional experiences are the positive changes that have occurred in math classrooms, and their positive impact on math achievement.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) was one of the first professional education groups to develop national teaching standards. NCTM promoted the important idea that ‘In order to learn math, students must do math!’. Ed Thomas took that idea one step further and asked ‘So what should we have our students do?’. From school to school and classroom to classroom, math students will be engaged, or unengaged, in a wide range of lessons, tasks, states of mind, and learning activities. Many of these experiences will support learning to various degrees. Others will actually impede learning and turn students away from the love of learning and mathematics.
Over the last twenty years, Ed has visited hundreds of schools and math classrooms, and paid close attention to classroom experiences in math that work best, and those that don’t work at all. Ed used his findings as a basis for researching, developing, testing, and modifying instructional strategies and student engagement activities that are guaranteed to ignite students’ interests, develop understanding, and increase students’ confidence and achievement in math.
In the year 2000, Ed found the company Dimension 2000, a math-education reform company that provides professional development to K-12 math teachers through math workshops, summer math institutes, school visits, classroom demonstration lessons, and instructional support materials. Dimension 2000’s latest development is MathCore2k.com, a website that provides math teachers with model lesson plans, student engagement activities, and professional development videos that are aligned to the new Common Core Standards. MathCore2k supports Ed’s goal of spreading the word and sharing best-practices in math education with any educator who has an interest or need for improving math achievement in their schools and classrooms.
Ed earned a Ph.D. in Math Education in 1989 from Georgia State University. He viewed that accomplishment as a starting point, not an ending point, for having a positive and significant impact on math education and student achievement across the country. Since 1989 Ed has:
• presented nationally for NCTM, AMLE, ASCD, SREB, and Corwin Press,
• worked in hundreds of schools and hundreds of math classrooms,
• authored or co-authored 11 math instruction texts, and
• conducted more than 100 successful math workshops.
Participants in Ed Thomas’s math workshops have labeled his workshops as the best and most productive that they have ever attended. Students in classrooms that have been taught by Ed have asked ‘Why can’t math be taught like this every day?’. Ed says, it can.