# Research Projects

- Mathematics Teaching and Learning to Teach Project (MTLT) »

The Mathematics Teaching and Learning to Teach project is the research project Ball developed upon her arrival to the U-M in 1996. Serving as the conceptual foundation of subsequent research projects, MTLT investigates the mathematical knowledge, sensibilities, and skills entailed in the work of teaching. The research team continues to develop a practice-based theory of mathematical knowledge for teaching. Instead of analyzing curriculum, or starting with what they think teachers should know, they begin by examining and analyzing practice. The MTLT project studies the interplay of mathematics and pedagogy in the teaching of elementary school mathematics. By looking closely at the mathematical and pedagogical work of teaching - for instance, managing discussions, asking questions, interpreting students' thinking - the project aims to identify mathematical insight, appreciation, and knowledge that matter for teaching and to analyze and articulate ways in which it might be entailed in practice. The MTLT project believes that such analysis is needed to extend what we currently know about the mathematical resources required for teaching, the role of such resources in practice, and, by implication, what learning opportunities teachers and prospective teachers need to develop in order to teach mathematics. Other analyses explore the role of talk in mathematics teaching and learning, the nature of mathematical reasoning, and the relational work involved in teaching mathematics.

The MTLT project draws on two primary data sources:

• extensive multimedia records of one full year of third grade mathematics teaching and learning, including videos, audiotapes, transcripts, the teacher's daily journal, each student's class work, homework, quizzes, and standardized tests, student interviews.

• records of practice drawn from other elementary and middle school classrooms, to extend and supplement the data in the primary third grade records.

- Learning Mathematics for Teaching Project (LMT) »

The Learning Mathematics for Teaching Project (LMT) investigates the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching, and how such knowledge develops as a result of experience and professional learning. This is done through the writing, piloting, and analysis of problems that reflect real mathematics tasks teachers face in classrooms - for instance, assessing student work, representing numbers and operations, and explaining common mathematical rules or procedures. Assessments composed of these problems are often used to measure the effectiveness of professional development intended to improve teachers' mathematical knowledge. - Study of Instructional Improvement (SII) »

The Study of Instructional Improvement (SII) is a program of comprehensive research that seeks to understand the impact of school improvement programs on instruction and student performance in elementary schools. Over a six-year period, researchers at the University of Michigan followed schools involved with one of three leading school improvement programs -- Accelerated Schools, America's Choice, and Success For All. The study is tracking the implementation of these improvement efforts in schools, and investigating the impact on teachers, students, and schools. - Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics (CPTM) »

CPTM, the Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics, aims to strengthen the system of professional education that supports teachers of mathematics throughout their careers. In order to do this, CPTM works on ideas, materials, and approaches to improve:

• Professional development for mathematics teacher educators and professional developers

• Doctoral programs for future mathematics teacher educators

• Professional development for teachers of mathematics

• Knowledge about the unique nature of mathematics as it is used in teaching

- mod4: Materials Development Project »

mod4 is a materials development project based at the University of Michigan and funded by the National Science Foundation’s Teacher Professional Continuum program. Its aim is to produce practice-based materials for teacher education and professional development that focus on helping teachers learn mathematical knowledge and skills for the work of teaching. - Elementary Mathematics Laboratory (EML) »

The Elementary Mathematics Laboratory (EML) is a teaching and research project at the University of Michigan School of Education. It features a two-week summer mathematics program for incoming fifth-graders that is taught by mathematics educator and School of Education dean Dr. Deborah Ball. This program provides local schoolchildren with an opportunity to work with expert researchers and teachers to improve their mathematical knowledge and skill. At the same time the EML creates a space for diverse professionals representing a range of expertise and perspectives to work together to solve complex problems of learning and teaching.

- Developing Teaching Expertise @ Mathematics (Dev-TE@M) »

The Dev-TE@M project at the U-M School of Education has partnered with Cisco Learning Institute (CLI) to build practice-focused professional development modules for elementary teachers who teach mathematics and may play leadership roles in mathematics education. Using innovative technologies, the project aims to provide high-quality learning experiences and assessments that are accessible, coherent, and usable at scale.

Over two years, the Dev-TE@M will lead a group of mathematics teacher educators from across the country to develop a coherent set of professional learning modules that will serve as the foundation for the Cisco Learning Institute (CLI)’s national K-5 Mathematics Specialist Academy and their vision for an Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) endorsement program. - Teacher Education Initiative (TEI) »

The Teacher Education Initiative is a comprehensive project to redesign how teachers are prepared for practice at the University of Michigan, and to build knowledge and tools that will inform teacher education more broadly. Recognizing that teachers play a pivotal role in improving p-12 education in the United States, TEI aims to develop professional education that will prepare novices to*do*the complex relational, psychological, social, and intellectual work of teaching. The project also intends to study these efforts and to gather and disseminate systematic evidence of and about effective teacher education. The Initiative is under Deborah Ball’s leadership as dean of the School of Education.