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Caren Holtzman began her teaching career with Oceanside Unified School District. She was a classroom teacher (grades 2-6) for ten years. She subsequently began her work as a faculty member at the University of California San Diego's Education Studies Program (EDS). Caren directs the PAL (Partners at Learning) Program, which is the largest service-learning program on campus, offering classes to UCSD students from all majors and colleges. The UCSD students enrolled in PAL courses serve as mentors and tutors in underrepresented pre-K–12 schools throughout San Diego County. Currently, close to 600 UCSD students take PAL classes every year. Caren's work with the PAL Program has allowed her to collaborate extensively with local community colleges, pre-K–12 schools, and community organizations. She is also the director of the UCSD Artsbridge program.
Caren teaches education classes to undergraduate EDS minors. She works extensively with the preservice teachers enrolled in the EDS elementary credential/MEd program. She teaches both math methods and arts methods. Additionally, she advises MA students and serves on various leadership committees.
Caren has worked on math curriculum development projects for the California Department of Education and was part of the California Math Leadership Project. She has worked extensively with teachers and administrators across the country, helping them deepen their understanding of mathematics and sharpen their skills in teaching mathematics. She spent a semester serving as a full-time mathematics consultant for Manhattan District 2 in New York City. She has been a mathematics teaching consultant for Marilyn Burns Education Associates.
Caren has written several children's books, published by Scholastic. In addition, she is the coauthor (with Rusty Bresser) of several teacher resource books published by Math Solutions Publications. Caren has received many grants and awards, including the Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award.