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Metro Chicago Mathematics Initiative

MCMI: Transforming the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics K–12 Heading link

Metro Chicago Math Initiative



The Metro Chicago Mathematics Initiative (MCMI) is a program of the Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) that supports teachers and school districts in transforming their mathematics education practices through intensive professional development and coaching services.  MCMI takes a systemic approach in building district, school, and teacher capacity, with collaboration among educators at its core. It also emphasizes and supports high-quality instruction, curriculum, and assessment, helping educators focus on student thinking to improve teaching and learning.

MCMI provides professional development, and on-site coaching for teachers, teacher leaders, administrators, instructional coaches, and math specialists. MCMI also provides opportunities for these key stakeholders to network and problem solve with individuals from other districts or schools.

Our work is driven by a focus on student learning. Drawing on decades of research and experience, we aim to change the way that mathematics is taught and learned in every classroom, for every student. We help teachers engage students deeply in mathematics by building their own mathematical knowledge and supporting their ability to use student thinking to inform their instruction.

MCMI  grew out of the work of the Suburban Cook County Mathematics Initiative (SCCMI). SCCMI was a partnership among 32 high-needs school districts in west and south Cook County, LSRI, and the West and South Cook Intermediate Service Centers. It sought to promote a comprehensive strategy for improving mathematics teaching and learning. The project was originally funded by nearly $4 million in grants from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. Participating districts also provided funding. (Archive SCCMI)

“I’m seeing a transformation in the way that teachers think about math when I observe them, “ one administrator shared.  “With the students, there’s more communication about math. There’s not one way to approach it. There’s less emphasis on the computation and formulaic end of math. And more about the application and problem-solving, how can you apply things that you’ve learned to new situations… and definitely more students are collaborating and working together too.”

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