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IAS/Park City Profile

Institute for Advanced Study/Park City Mathematics Institute


The IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) has a 16-year history of preparing high-school teacher leaders to improve their own practice and implement professional development for their peers. This Math Science Partnership project is a prototype institute that pilots the transfer mechanism of the PCMI model of professional development to diverse school districts across the nation: specifically in McAllen, TX, Seattle, WA, and Las Cruces and Gadsden, NM.

The PCMI Math Science Partnership is formally known as "PD3: PCMI and Districts Partner to Design Professional Development."

PCMI traditionally deals with high school teachers, however the MSP project broadens participation by including middle school teachers.

Three school districts representing diverse student populations form partnerships with local institutions of higher education. The school districts will identify 4-6 secondary and middle schools for initial participation and all teachers of mathematics in the designated schools become involved over the course of three years.

The three-year plan includes building a cadre of teacher leaders by their participation in at least two PCMI summer sessions. PCMI partners with a university mathematics department in each district to provide local resources that will support implementation of the professional development model. District mathematics supervisors will coordinate with teacher leaders to design and implement local professional development programs that meet the needs of peer mathematics teachers in selected schools.

Each school district designs a professional development model that directly addresses the needs of its own teachers and students based upon state standards and local education environments. The three goals for each school district are: 1)Developing teachers as leaders, 2) Obtaining administrative support for the project, and 3) Teachers opening their doors and welcoming visitors into their classrooms.