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MC2-LIFT Profile

Mathematically Connected Communities - Leadership Institute for Teachers


The Mathematically-Connected Communities (MC2)-Leadership Institute For Teachers (LIFT) project - a partnership between New Mexico State University (NMSU) and southern New Mexico school systems - responds to the needs of partner districts that have embarked on full scale implementation of new mathematics curriculum in recent years, yet lack the leadership on school campuses or in their districts to support full enactment of a quality curriculum.

MC2-LIFT was designed by mathematicians, education faculty and school district leaders in order to develop a cadre of 60 teacher leaders who will have a deep conceptual knowledge of K-12 mathematics, as well as the knowledge, skills and dispositions to facilitate growth in mathematics teaching and learning environments in schools or districts. The goals of the project are to:

1) Increase Teacher Leaders' Knowledge of K-12 Mathematics;
2) Expand and Enrich Pedagogical Practices;
3) Develop Intellectual Leaders;
4) Implement Institute Learning in School Environments; and
5) Sustain Partnerships between Mathematicians, Education Faculty and Districts.

MC2-LIFT provides participating teachers with a two-year cycle of professional development involving intensive summer study as well as an academic year program that includes application of their learning in school or district settings.

Each semester and during the summer, courses are designed and team taught by an NMSU mathematician and an educator, blending mathematical concepts with knowledge and skills in pedagogy and leadership. Teacher Leaders come from all K-12 levels and gain a new lens for learning mathematics by studying how concepts are vertically articulated within the K-12 continuum, connecting within and across grades. Institute participants are developing a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts by understanding these connections.

Then, by developing a range of models and strategies to represent mathematical ideas, Teacher Leaders are able to help other mathematics teachers differentiate their instruction and meet the needs of diverse learners. Principals also receive professional development in MC2 -LIFT, gaining an understanding of how to foster a culture of professional learning in mathematics education on their campuses.

Principals and Teacher Leaders are collaboratively developing a vision for the Teacher Leaders' roles, communicating expectations for professional learning among school staff and routinely engaging in reflection and evaluation of the progress that their schools are making towards teacher and student learning goals.

Through involvement in the MC2-LIFT project, the graduate program in mathematics education at NMSU is undergoing institutional change to include integrated coursework and application of learning in partner schools, with mathematics and education faculty collaborating to improve coursework for pre-service undergraduate teachers.

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).