M Circle overhead view on UMD campus

Center for Mathematics Education (CFME)

Past Projects

Case Studies of Urban Algebra I Teachers

In 2004 a team of Center for Mathematics Education faculty and graduate student researchers embarked on an ambitious research effort titled the Case Studies of Urban Algebra I Teachers Project. The main purpose of the project was to document the practices and perspectives of 'well respected' teachers of Algebra I in urban schools populated predominantly by African American and Latino students. Over a three-year period, the project team conducted approximately eight interviews and 30 classroom observations (most of which were videotaped) for each of the six mathematics teachers in the study, all of whom are African American. Multiple goals related to the project were established over time, however, for the purposes of describing the ways the research team developed conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches in their efforts to responsibly study and articulate the roles African American mathematics teachers play in the lives of their African American students, two goals came to play a central role:

• Identifying ways in which African American mathematics teachers in a specific academic and social context assist their African American students in negotiating identities that have historically been constructed in isolation or in opposition to one another – namely becoming and being an African American adolescent while simultaneously becoming and being a mathematics learner.

• Identifying the knowledge, resources, experiences, and rationales African American mathematics teachers draw on as they engage in this identity socialization work in this particular academic and social context.

The Case Studies of Urban Algebra I Teachers research team has presented findings at many national mathematics education conferences. Teacher College Record published a 2013 special issue highlighting the work of some of the CFME faculty and graduate students. Read more at Teacher College Record


Conceptualizing the African American Mathematics Teacher as a Key Figure in the African American Education Historical Narrative
Education researcher Lawrence Clark discusses his co-authored TCRecord article. #TheVoice

The Voice |Apr 22, 2013|

MACMTL Quantitative Study

Lawrence Clark, Patricia Campbell and Math Griffin

In 2005, a team of graduate students under the direction of Dr. Patricia Campbell and Dr. Anna Graeber began an extensive research study to address a fundamental question about teacher content and pedagogical knowledge, namely does it affect student learning? Working on the premise that a characterization of teachers’ mathematical content and pedagogical knowledge could only be represented by direct measures, the project team initially conducted an extensive literature review to identify components for a teacher-knowledge framework as well as released assessment items. This framework was then intersected with Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania curriculum standards for school mathematics (Grades 4-5 and 6-8) to define understandings associated with teaching the Grades 4-8 school mathematics content in those three states, along with domains specifying pedagogical content knowledge. A second literature review addressed teachers’ beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning, as well as literature addressing students’ mathematical dispositions and teachers’ awareness or efforts to influence those perceptions. Read more...

James Fey

Connected Mathematics Project  

Dr. James Fey served as the Co-Principal Investigator on the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP). CMP is a standards-based middle school curriculum that emphasizes investigation of mathematical ideas through collaborative problem-solving. 


Core-Plus Mathematics Project 

Dr. James Fey served as the Co-Principal Investigator on the Core-Plus Mathematics Project, an NSF-funded curriculum project. The Core-Plus Mathematics Project supports implementation of a major revision to this standards-based high school curriculum that emphasizes investigation of mathematical ideas in the context of solving realistic quantitative problems.

High-Quality Teaching Study   

Dr. Anna Graeber
Dr. Anna Graeber

Dr. Anna Graeber is a senior researcher on the High-Quality Teaching Study (HQT), which is supported by a grant from the Interagency Education Research Initiative. The HQT is a four-year study of teaching quality that focuses on what teachers do to help struggling 4th and 5th grade students succeed in reading and mathematics, as well as how various education policies and organizational factors influence the ability of teachers to scale up and sustain effective pedagogy over time.

Outreach to Policy Makers

With its focus on the teaching of mathematics in urban schools, like those around us, the Center for Mathematics Education is committed to supported conversations with policymakers and with other mathematics educators about influencing policy debates. Faculty members in the Center have been paying special attention to issues related to changes in high school graduation policies.

In February 2008, the Center sponsored a small invitational conference for practitioners and mathematics educators concerned about changes to high school graduation requirements.

In September 2008, the Center, with NSF-funding and co-sponsor Math is More, held a larger, national conference for mathematics educators to consider the Future of High School Mathematics. For additional information and resources please take a look at the Conference agenda and online briefing book