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Math in the Middle Institute Partnership

Empowering Middle-Level Mathematics Teachers

Funded by a five-year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the Math in the Middle Institute Partnership is a partnership among educators at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Public Schools and Nebraska’s Rural Educational Service Units. The focus is developing intellectual leaders in middle-level mathematics (grades 5-8), improving student achievement in math, and reducing the achievement gaps in the mathematical performance of diverse student populations in Nebraska.

The Math in the Middle Institute Partnership contains three major components:

  • The Math in the Middle Institute is a multi-year institute offering participants a program of study to deepen their mathematical knowledge for teaching, sharpen their pedagogy skills and develop leadership abilities. During the 25-month institute, participants tackle a challenging math curriculum taught by faculty in mathematics and mathematics education. By the completion of the project, more than 130 teachers will have participated in the program and will have earned master’s degrees.

  • Mathematics Learning Teams, led by Math in the Middle teachers and supported by school administrators and university faculty, help teachers align their teaching with state standards and assist teachers in examining their instructional and assessment practices. A variety of peer interactions will strive to improve classroom instruction and student achievement.

  • A Research Initiative will transform the Math in the Middle Institute and the mathematics learning teams into laboratories for educational improvement and innovation. The research team seeks to answer two primary questions: What are the capacities of teachers to translate the mathematical knowledge and habits of mind acquired through the professional development opportunities of Math in the Middle into measurable changes in teaching practices? And, to what extent do observable changes in mathematics teaching practice translate into measurable improvement in student performance?