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Math Leadership Profile

The Rice University Mathematics Leadership Institute


Three mathematical sciences departments at Rice University, in partnership with Aldine and Houston Independent School Districts, are providing the Mathematics Leadership Institute (MLI) for high school mathematics teachers in the Houston area. MLI is a collaboration among two ethnically diverse school districts, the Departments of Mathematics (MATH), Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAAM), and Statistics (STAT) at Rice University and the Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP).

The MLI is developing a cadre of 80 lead teachers in mathematics and expanding teachers' knowledge in each of the important mathematics strands that form the core of the high school mathematics curriculum. Lead teachers on each high school campus provide mathematics content and pedagogical support for the entire mathematics department. In addition to developing mathematics teachers who are able to engage all students in challenging mathematics, the project aims to ensure that all students have access to and are encouraged to participate in challenging and advanced mathematics courses. The proposal also seeks to impact the instructional practices of college faculty, post-docs, and graduate students.

Each institute under MLI consists of two four-week sessions conducted over two consecutive summers and focusing on increasing teachers' knowledge of mathematics and pedagogy, leadership development, current research on mathematics education, advances in technology, diversity issues related to student achievement gaps and retaining and strategies for retaining a diverse teaching workforce. Lead teachers' academic year activities include collaborative planning, coaching, demonstration teaching, and co-teaching with high school mathematics teachers, monthly meetings for the Institute participants, colloquia, seminars, and opportunities to participate in discussion groups with mathematics faculty, post-docs and graduate students and to collaborate on the development of curriculum materials. The Institute also supports teachers as they prepare for Texas Master Mathematics Certification. Through their interactions with lead teachers, CAAM, MATH, and STAT faculty, post-docs, and graduate students are gaining valuable insight into successful teaching practices that will transfer to their own practice.