Teacher Leadership Program 2017

— With program support provided by Math for America

Making Mathematical Connections

The Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, offers comprehensive professional development for mathematicians and teachers of mathematics, as well as programs for students aspiring to a career in mathematics.

The Teacher Leadership Program (TLP) Summer Session is a 3-week residential program in Park City, Utah and is part of the larger PCMI program. The TLP is for school teachers who specialize in mathematics for grades 2-12.  In addition, 6 quarter-credits of 400-level mathematics are available from the University of Washington for a modest fee.

The Teacher Leadership Program at PCMI will be held June 29 – July 17, 2017.

Click HERE to apply to the Teacher Leadership Program.

The TLP is structured around three goals:

All teachers should be involved in

  • continuing to learn and do mathematics
  • analyzing and refining classroom practice
  • becoming resources to colleagues and the profession.

Each of these goals is reflected in the three strands that comprise the summer courses and activities.

Goal 1 Math Course: Random Matrices

The contexts and methods developed in the course will be low-threshold, high-ceiling, with plenty of interesting mathematics for any grade level.

The course is about the nature of randomness. How do we decide something is random? How can we decide something isn't random? There are many possible distributions of random numbers and many possible distributions of random matrices. The course will investigate the ways that data can be tested to see if it comes from a random source and the ways to use random numbers and matrices to simulate real phenomena.
An example:

Jennie is an excellent fast-pitch softball pitcher. She has three pitches: a fastball, a changeup, and a drop curve. Jennie mixes up her pitches to try to fool hitters. Here’s a sample of 24 pitches she threw during a game, in the order she threw them:
F, F, C, D, F, F, F, D, C, F, F, C,
D, F, C, F, D, F, F, D, C, F, D, F
Jennie just threw a fastball. About how likely do you think it is that the next pitch will be a fastball? a changeup? a drop curve?

The course will investigate questions like these, tying them to the precollege mathematics curriculum. No prior background is necessary; the contexts and methods developed in the course will be low-threshold, high-ceiling, with plenty of interesting mathematics for any grade level.


Goal 2 Reflecting on Practice: Making Inquiry a Core Teaching Practice

What role does inquiry play in developing students’ insights about and understanding of mathematics? Participants will consider research related to teaching and learning mathematics with a particular focus on how active learning can produce both conceptual knowledge and procedural fluency. The discussion will be grounded in the study of lessons and classroom practice in both the United States and other countries as participants work collaboratively to better understand how they can design experiences for students that enable them to make sense of mathematics.


Goal 3 Working Groups

(2 hours, 4 days a week)

As part of their summer activities, each participant selected for the Teacher Leadership Program will be assigned to one of three options: 1) a small team that will focus on an developing an activity related to providing resources to support teachers as they implement standards for mathematical proficiency in their schools and districts or on an TLP academic year outreach project, 2) a special working group attending a course related to the  PCMI research math topic Random Matrices or 3) a working group on lesson study, which will design and deliver a lesson to area high school students during the three-week session and revise the lesson for use by other mathematics educators. These teams will be formed with respect to interest and experience. As part of the application process, please rank three working group choices on the online application. Note that accepted participants will be take part in a discussion of potential topics and projects prior to the summer session to investigate some ideas in more detail and to begin to form teams with areas of mutual interest.

Working Group choices:

  • Supporting Teachers as Leaders
    •     Algebra
    •     Advanced Algebra
    •     Advanced Mathematics
    •     Statistics
    •     Number and Operation
    •     Geometry
    •     Calculus
    •     Social Justice in Mathematics   
    •     Outreach
  • Lesson Study
  • Research Course- Random Matrices

All participants will be consulted and notified of their working group assignments prior to the Institute. Applicants should rank their first, second, and third choice of Working Group on the application form. Accepted applicants will take part in a discussion of possible topics and foci for their teams prior to the beginning of the summer program.