Systems Leadership for Math Improvement


Improving the quality of instruction across classrooms and schools, and thereby increasing opportunities for student learning, is a pressing issue for both practitioners and researchers. In order to meet the ever-changing demands on schools and further develop ambitious teaching practices, schools need to be environments that support both adults’ and students’ ongoing learning. Our research investigates and collaborates with practitioners on how to design district and school systems that support the implementation of ambitious mathematics instruction by radically changing the typical approach to adult learning in schools. One focal approach is a job-embedded professional development structure called Mathematics Learning Labs, or Math Labs.

In partnership with two school districts in the Puget Sound Roadmap Region, we collaborate to provide learning opportunities for adults at all levels of the system on learning about 1) new ways of working together, and 2) inquiry-oriented, ambitious mathematics instruction. At the same time, we use systematic inquiry to develop theory and knowledge related to developing discipline-specific leadership practices and implementation at scale. Through both partnerships, we have developed a number of documents and tools to support organizational change. This site provides more background information on a number of our theoretical and methodological approaches, and our developing body of papers, presentations, and tools that capture our learning. 



This work is funded through grants from the Gates Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the University of Washington Research Royalty Fund.