PROMYS for Teachers is designed to support current efforts in Massachusetts to enhance problem-solving and open-ended exploration in secondary school mathematics classrooms. PROMYS engages middle and high school teachers in an intensive experience of mathematical exploration. Over the course of six weeks, PROMYS teachers develop, through problem-solving, many classical results in number theory. This experience is enriched by a supportive community of other teachers, high school students, graduate students, and research faculty. The program fosters new insights into the nature of mathematical investigation as participants practice the habits of mind that are at the core of creative mathematics. Academic year workshops help teachers translate the summer experience into fundamental change in their own classrooms.
The Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework calls for exactly the kind of exploration that PROMYS provides. It calls for a shift away from solving routine problems to problem-solving as the focus of mathematics programs. Indeed, one of the Framework's guiding principles is that students should explore mathematical ideas in ways that help them maintain their enjoyment of and curiosity about mathematics. Accordingly, PROMYS participants are asked to work beyond their centers of competence and to push the limits of their knowledge. The PROMYS community provides a rich support network so that teachers can spend time as mathematics learners in a safe and supportive environment.
PROMYS has existed for over two decades at Boston University as a program that engages mathematically inclined high school students in the process of mathematical exploration through their work on unusually challenging problems in number theory. Since 1991, PROMYS has also worked with pre-service high school mathematics teachers from the Boston University School of Education. In the summer of 1999, PROMYS expanded its activities again by engaging in-service Massachusetts high school mathematics teachers in the program's summer activities and running five professional development seminars during the academic year.
Please click here for information about the partners of PROMYS.