Our mission is to improve the teaching and learning of middle school mathematics by helping teachers deepen their understanding of key mathematical concepts and of how students learn.

Mathematics and Pedagogical Approach

The Poincaré Institute offers three graduate level online and face-to-face courses to teachers of fifth through ninth graders. The courses focus on deep mathematical content and on teaching and learning by considering students’ reasoning about mathematics. The program relies on a function approach to mathematics that better prepare students to learn algebra and to consider isolated topics in arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and functions as unified under more abstract ideas and concepts.

Partnership with School Districts

The partnership with schools and school districts ensures that the courses address teachers’ needs and support their collaborative work. The program spans three semesters, offering teachers an extended opportunity to engage with the course content and to collaborate with their colleagues.

Relationship to Textbooks and Curricula

The Poincaré Institute courses supports teaching and learning in mathematics, regardless of the curriculum and textbooks schools chose to use. It complements the content and practices recommended by the Common Core standards and by teacher certification requirements.

What our Teachers Have to Say

Jean Beckner

A fifth grade teacher talks about how the Poincaré Institute helped her change her style of teaching and better understand her students’ reasoning, and the content of mathematics.



Carey Mount

A sixth grade Special Education teacher talks about her initial worries and how, while cooperating with her peers and with Poincaré instructors, she changed her views about mathematics and ways of teaching.



Ann Young

An 8th grade teacher reflects upon the cooperation among teachers across grades and on how a functions approach to mathematics from earlier grades may contribute to students’ understanding of algebra.



Cohort Three Testimonial Montage

Hear what a few teachers in the program have to say.




A Quick Look at the Poincaré Institute


A National Science Foundation Math Science Partnership between Tufts University, TERC, and School Districts in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Graphic adapted from fdecomite under CC BY 2.0.