Core Principles

Five core principles guide our work.

Teachers are central to change.

Teachers shape students’ learning experiences and beliefs about math. It is possible to create classrooms that are more strongly student-centered — classrooms in which all students are actively and meaningfully engaged in learning math.

Student-centered teaching is complex and almost impossible to do in isolation.

Teaching to maximize student engagement and understanding is complex. One way to deal with this complexity is for teachers to participate in structured, collaborative learning with other teachers and researchers.

Teaching can be continuously improved.

Teaching is a craft to continuously hone. Teachers use practices daily that lend themselves to ongoing, incremental improvement. Continuous improvement methods from industry and healthcare hold promise for education.

Quick-cycle improvement methods provide opportunities to study and improve teaching.

Many of the practices teachers want to improve can be studied with quick-cycle research and development methods. Teachers can test and refine strategies within and across lessons, realizing improvements every few weeks, rather than waiting until summer break.

Research and practice should be seamlessly integrated.

Too often, research and practice fail to inform each other. Our network includes researchers and practitioners working arm-in-arm to test and refine improvement strategies in real classroom settings. Mutual respect fuels our work.