Teacher Education and Higher Education

Core Mathematics Instructional Practices in Secondary Schools (CMaPSS)

A partnership between The University of North Carolina Greensboro and Rockingham County Schools (2016-2017)


Recent advances in research on mathematics learning, teaching, and teacher learning in professional
development are leading to tools and approaches that can significantly improve instruction and student learning. Learning trajectories research is beginning to map the ways students’ informal and partial understandings of mathematics concepts evolve over time into increasingly sophisticated concepts. New conceptualizations of mathematics teaching informed by these trajectories are emerging with evidence from research suggesting benefits of “learning trajectories based instruction” for teaching and student learning. Studies of how professionals learn relational, interactive practices point to promising approaches of supporting teachers in expanding their repertoires of instructional strategies to include core teaching practices that engage students in meaningful mathematics learning. Building from these three areas of research, the CMaPSS Project will design and implement professional development for secondary mathematics teachers to deepen their understandings of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and develop a shared vision of high quality mathematics instruction through in-depth studies of mathematics content, examinations of the learning trajectories underlying the standards, and investigations of core mathematics instructional practices.

CMaPSS partners mathematics teachers, teacher leaders, and school administrators from Rockingham County Schools with University of North Carolina at Greensboro mathematics educators and mathematicians to develop a vision of high quality mathematics instruction in secondary mathematics classrooms. Through 96 hours of intensive and ongoing professional development, participants will study secondary mathematics content and students’ learning trajectories, investigate and enact core practices of high quality mathematics instruction, and develop leadership capacity to support and sustain instructional change. Teacher leaders and faculty will collaboratively design and facilitate a two week Summer Institute in 2016 for teams of teachers and administrators from district secondary schools. During the 2016 – 2017 school year, teams will work within their schools to enact core practices with mentor and peer coaching support. During monthly project meetings, school teams will collectively examine student learning and their teaching to refine and share a common vision of teaching that engages every student in learning mathematics with deep understanding and improves student achievement. At the conclusion of the project, teachers will prepare to share their learning with teachers in other schools in their district.