The heart of the Institute is a sequence of three graduate-level online courses, supplemented by face-to-face sessions, designed to meet the needs of middle school mathematics teachers. The courses focus on the mathematics of functions, including modeling (the mathematics of physical and real world phenomena). Each course topic contains complementary units in both mathematics and pedagogy, as well as applications to science and real life situations. Activities are designed to drawn on the perspectives of teachers of various grade levels and assignments are designed to be both challenging and accessible to middle school teachers.
Participants will receive graduate credit from Tufts University for each of the three courses. The course structure features a highly interactive, inquiry-based approach. By actively carrying out their own mathematical investigations, formulating conjectures, and checking their validity and generality, teachers will gain fluency with “big ideas” that appear in a variety of situations and representations. At the same time, they will learn about relevant research findings in mathematics learning and teaching, as well as pedagogical investigations related to particular mathematics topics.