The Developing Mathematical Thinking (DMT) is a three year project that focuses on increasing elementary and middle-school students' mathematics achievement scores. DMT intends to extend teachers' knowledge of mathematics, their understanding of how children best learn mathematics, and their ability to teach mathematics in a more effective manner. These teachers will also develop and use strategies to assist all students -high- and low-achieving- to perform better on different achievement measures.
The participating teachers and district specialists will increase their capacity to teach mathematics to elementary and middle school students and, as a result of the professional development, teacher leaders will emerge. To continue and expand the project activities, the teacher leaders will be asked to assist in facilitating future institutes in nearby schools.
Additionally, district administrators will be building the organizational structures to support this model over the three years. Finally, the partnerships built among faculty and staff at the universities and the schools will have lasting advantages.
DMT holds five project goals. The first three goals relate to the teacher, while the final two relate to the students. The first goal is to increase the amount of teachers with mathematics endorsements, the second goal is to develop teachers' understanding of mathematics and how children learn mathematics, and the third goal is to improve teachers' instructional practices related to mathematics. The fourth and fifth goals are to deepen students' understanding of mathematical concepts and increase students' ISAT scores in all subgroups of mathematics.
Teachers are given a pretest before the course to test their mathematical ability and understanding; they are then given a post-test after the course. There are significant outcomes from the course and project: teachers' knowledge and instructional practices improve and their students' achievement increases.