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Icon for: Una MacDowell

UNA MACDOWELL

Project Liaison

Abstract

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Focus on Mathematics (FoM): a Math and Science Partnership (MSP) funded by the National Science Foundation in 2003, devoted to improving student achievement in mathematics.

Focus on Mathematics (FoM) is a Math and Science Partnership (MSP) funded by the National Science Foundation in 2003. Our partnership is devoted to improving student achievement in mathematics through programs that provide teachers with solid content-based professional development sustained by mathematical learning communities in which mathematicians, educators, administrators, and teachers work together to put mathematics at the core of secondary mathematics education. We are a partnership of mathematicians and educators from Boston University, Education Development Center, Inc., UMass Lowell, Lesley University, and six Greater Boston school districts.

Our theory of change is based on a hypothesis that deep immersion in mathematics and participation in a mathematical learning community leads to the development of teachers’ knowledge of mathematics for teaching (KMT) and ultimately to improved proficiency in mathematics for all students. This informs the design of the professional development that we develop.

Focus on Mathematics Partnership has four broad goals:

  • Offer teachers a content-based professional development program;
  • Provide students with rigorous courses and curricula;
  • Develop and support a cadre of mathematically expert teachers who will share their knowledge with teachers in their districts and students in their schools; and
  • Develop mathematical learning communities for teachers characterized by a focus on mathematics with core involvement of mathematicians.

Our professional development plan includes:

  • Study groups
  • Academic Seminars
  • Summer Institutes
  • Colloquia
  • PROMYS for Teachers (PfT)
  • Master of Mathematics for Teaching (MMT)
  • Mathematics Teaching Scholars (MTS)
  • Curriculum Research Committee (CRC)
  • Student research