The Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning

Principal Investigator: Jim Fey


NSF ($9,000,000 – over five years)


1.  To address problems of the USA capacity for mathematics education leadership

2.   To address problems of the quality of K-12 mathematics         teacher education.


• To design and operate an innovative program of doctoral and postdoctoral education for specialists in mathematics teacher education, curriculum development, policy leadership, and mathematics education research. 

• To develop, evaluate, and disseminate models for the mathematical education of pre-service teachers and professional development of in-service mathematics teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools.





Three research universities and three school systems (Delaware; Maryland; Pennsylvania State University)

Guiding Principles

• Goal for students: deep, broad, and connected  understanding of math.

• Goal for educators: core knowledge that integrates the domains of mathematics, student thinking, pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment.

• Educators need adaptive expertise to transform their knowledge into decisions and actions appropriate to specific contexts.

• Professional programs require collaboration among various institutions.

•  Schools must provide high quality mathematical education for all students.

• Resources for teaching, learning, and professional development must include technologies that allow new conceptions of what is most important to learn.

• Effective change in education requires reculturing schools.

• The prototype for a new form of educator preparation must be one that learns from its own experience.


Doctoral and Postdoctoral Education for Specialists

Task 1:  Recruiting, Admission, and Support of Students

Task 2:  Defining Program Course Requirements

Task 3:  Establishing Research Participation, School Field Experiences,
Policy Internships, and Curriculum Development Internships

Task 4:  Establishing Standards for Dissertations

Task 6:  Placing doctoral  fellows in professional positions

Improving Teacher Preparation and Professional Development

1:  Improving Pre-service Preparation of Elem. and Middle School Teachers

2:  Improving Pre-service Preparation of Secondary Mathematics Teachers

3:  Developing Teacher Leaders for Elem.  and Middle School Mathematics

4:  Developing Strategies for Secondary Mathematics Teacher Professional development

Expanding Professional Communities


• Demonstrate effective ways to engage faculty, graduate students, and classroom teachers in larger, more stimulating professional communities.

• Conduct a regular series of colloquia, research meetings, and workshops (both face-to-face and through video-conferencing or on-line conferencing) for sharing of on-going work at each site.

Project Management Plan

The project needs the guiding hand of a senior professional leader, Director, who will stimulate and coordinate the range of Center activities. The Director will be advised on a regular basis by an executive committee with representatives from each partner institution.

Formative Evaluation Plans


Study the Centre’s own operation and usethat research to continually improve its practices over time

The advisory board members will be critical to this study of the Center operation.

Timeline of Project Activities


Year 1: Develop and pilot test various component activities of the project.

Year 2: (1)  Initiate courses, research participation for doctoral fellows; (2)  Initiate courses and professional development institutes for in-service teacher leaders;

Year 3:  The primary activities of Year 3 will focus on the specialist fellows and scaling up of courses for pre-service teachers

Year 4:  The primary focus of year 4 activities will be scaling up and establishing permanent status of the teacher preparation, professional development, and specialist programs at the partner institutions

Year 5: Focus on evaluation and reporting of findings from the initiatives of the project:  (1) Reports on research on the various teacher preparation initiatives;  (2) Reports on the professional development initiatives; (3)  Continue collaborative offering of doctoral courses.


Two thirds of budget devoted to Doctoral studies