The Center for Innovation in Education

About the Center

The Center for Innovation in Education is one of the leading providers of mathematics inservice and training in the country. Center workshops are open to teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and parents. Over 500,000 teachers word-wide have participated in Center workshops.

The Center for Innovation in Education, a nonprofit organization, was co-founded in 1975 by two classroom teachers, Mary and Bob Baratta-Lorton. They shared a philosophy based upon the belief that all children can learn and that every child matters. Their commitment was to find ways that helped teach the way children learn. Mary and Bob translated the curriculum they developed in their own classrooms into the books Mathematics Their Way (TK-K-2) and Mathematics a Way of Thinking (2-6).

A page of abstract symbols, no matter how carefully designed or simplified, cannot involve the student's senses in the way actual materials can. Symbols are not the concept. They are only a representation of the concept and as such are abstractions describing something which is not visible to the student. Materials allow the child to manipulate objects to gain a full understanding of the concepts behind the abstract symbols. Understanding a concept, as opposed to memorizing it, allows the child to construct meaning. Meaning makes concepts useful to the child. Memorizing as a main teaching tool is only useful in training parrots.

The Center offers two math workshops:
Math Their Way (TK-K-2)
Math a Way of Thinking (2-6)

About the Workshop Instructors

Workshops are led by teachers who have implemented the Center's child-centered, activity-centered philosophy in their own classrooms. They have faced and met the challenges of working with colleagues, parents, and administrators who have questions about how children may best be taught mathematics in a school environment.

About the Baratta-Lorton Reading Program (aka Dekodiphukan)

The Center has made available the Baratta-Lorton Reading Program (also developed by Mary and Bob Baratta-Lorton) as a free download from its web site -- subject to the one condition that the downloaded materials not be made available for sale or resale.

The full program has also been developed into a set of fourteen Apps for the iPad for use in both home-schooling and classroom environments. These Apps are now all available as free downloads from the Apple App Store - search word "dekodiphukan".