Victor M. Hunt
Nov 16, 2022
In a period of expansion, Sprout welcomes Dr. Indira Gil
Earlier this month, Sprout officially welcomed its first-ever program advisor––an accomplished educator who will support the organization's growing impact on local academics.
Dr. Indira Gil, a lecturer in the Department of Education at Brown University, is joining Sprout at a time when the organization has become increasingly niche. In past years, Sprout offered tutoring in all subjects considered "S.T.E.M.", but has recently moved away from the sciences to focus more on topics in math.
Gil holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics from Florida International University and has extensive experience teaching math at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Her research interests include making mathematics accessible to all students, culturally responsive teaching, and advocating for educators.
Noor Kouki, the organization's Director of Academic Affairs, notes that Gil and Sprout share a similar mission.
"I think it's a perfect fit," says Kouki. "Dr. Gil understands how education leads to personal success. Together, we can get students excited about learning and improve outcomes."
Dr. Indira Gil, a lecturer in the Department of Education at Brown University.
Rhode Island is no exception to a nationwide crisis in public education. Earlier this year, students were evaluated by the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System, an annual standardized test administered by the Rhode Island Department of Education.
The results indicate that over 57% of eighth-graders and 56% of seventh-graders in the Providence public school system are "Not Meeting Expectations" in math.
"After multiple years of online learning, students are underperforming––especially in math," says Ethan Cohen, the organization's Tutoring Coordinator at The Met School. "We need to be more creative in finding solutions."
As a partner of local high schools, Sprout is looking to branch out and work with middle schools to support students earlier in their academic development. The organization has redesigned tutoring programs to include introductory topics like algebra and geometry, which aim to strengthen the comprehension of foundational concepts in math.
In doing so, students are more likely to experience improvements in their academic performance and are better prepared for future courses like physics and chemistry, which heavily rely on quantitative skills.
"Math is the greatest predictor of success in college science courses," says Gil in a recent interview with Ed Faculty Flash Talks. "Without grasping the underlying reasoning... students are at a loss when introduced to topics that rely on prior understanding."
Gil looks forward to pulling from her personal experiences as a student and educator to provide insight and perspective. “As a former urban public school student, teacher, and now teacher educator, it excites me to work with an organization whose goals are aligned with the needs of the community.
The need for quality math tutoring is imperative and I look forward to working with Sprout to address this necessity.”