Northeastern University is working with thirty-two school districts in New England to change their curriculum and pedagogy to meet the NCTM Standards. These school districts are joining with the New England Regional Center for the Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP), the Center for Enhancement in Science and Mathematics Education, the Center for Innovation in Urban Education and the Mathematics Department at Northeastern University to implement the NSF-funded IMP curriculum in their schools. The IMP curriculum replaces the traditional four years of high school mathematics with units that integrate algebra, geometry, statistics, finite mathematics and pre-calculus. The units are designed to be taught in collaborative groups, therefore changing the pedagogical approach from teacher centered to student centered. Professional Development for 135 teachers is provided by the Regional Center with NSF support, at Northeastern Univiversity. The Regional Center has grown to include schools from Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Cluster sites for professional development are being created in Western Massacusetts, Vermont, and Southern New England. This is in concert with the Center for the Enhancement of Science and Math Education. Teacher leaders are being developed to staff the cluster sites.
Teachers receive extensive professional development before each year of teaching the IMP. They participate in a two-day retreat in the spring, a 4- or 5-day summer workshop, and five days of professional development sessions during the academic year. In the sessions, teachers work in collaborative groups discovering the concepts and expanding their content understanding just as the students do. Through experiencing the units, the teachers are better able to implement the curriculum and pedagogy. On-going support is provided through periodic class visits. By the end of the project, each school district will have lead teachers trained in all four years of IMP to carry on the training and serve as a resource to the other teachers.