PROMYS for Teachers is for high school and middle school teachers of mathematics: both for experienced teachers and for pre-service teachers. Participants earn graduate credit and a stipend. For most teachers, the program is non-residential. Returning teachers take on advanced projects and seminars.
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The 2016 summer component was held from July 4 to August 12, 2016. There will be three to five academic year workshops held at the Education Development Center (EDC) from September 2016 through April 2017.
PROMYS for Teachers consists of two major summer components and an academic year component that includes workshops and an optional internship program.
During the two summer components, teachers will engage in intensive problem-solving activities with the other teacher participants. These problem-solving activities will run parallel to but separate from similar activities for high school students.
During the academic year, PROMYS teachers attend three to five full-day workshops offered jointly by Education Development Center (EDC) in Newton and Boston University's Department of Mathematics. These seminars are designed to help teachers "unpack" the pedagogical approaches used in PROMYS to enrich the school curricula. Another important goal of the workshops is to establish an ongoing network (including an electronic network) of teachers, mathematics educators, and research mathematicians. Typical agenda items include:
Since 2001, a group of former PROMYS teachers, in concert with Al Cuoco (EDC) and Glenn Stevens (BU), have worked together during the academic year to develop a curriculum that can be delivered to other secondary and high school teachers involved in professional development training at the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI). Two teachers (with financial support from PCMI) then go to Park City during the summer to facilitate and lead the three-week long course.
The three-week course is focused on learning mathematics by working on problems together (in the "PROMYS spirit"). The courses explore the fundamental mathematics on a topic that is rooted at the secondary level but related to the mathematical theme of the Institute. Careful work on this topic allows teachers (and students) to understand exactly how elementary and more advanced procedures in the specific content area are derived and can be generalized. The course is structured so that each participant can work at his/her own level. Those who are more mathematically advanced may be asked to help those with less preparation.
The focus of this strand is entirely on mathematics, although opportunity is provided within the course for reflection on the approach used by the instructors and to consider the implications of such an approach for teaching in secondary classrooms.
Teachers who have gone through the immersion experience themselves i.e. PROMYS teachers, and most recently, teachers who are candidates in the Master of Mathematics for Teaching (MMT) degree, develop and deliver the curricula for the three-week course taught at the Secondary School Teacher Program at PCMI. Each year, they develop a new course. Some of the courses have been the following: Developing Mathematics: Probability through Algebra; Some Applications of Geometric Thinking; Doing it with differences; Stories that count: The art and craft of combinatorial proofs; Sums and differences: The art and craft of adding and subtracting; Applications of the Gaussian integers and related systems; and The Euclidean algorithm and its applications to algebra and the theory of numbers.
Teacher participants will receive 8 graduate credits in mathematics from Boston University for their participation in the summer component of 2016. An additional 6 graduate credits (4 in mathematics education and 2 in mathematics) will be awarded for the summer of 2017. Assessment for the summer program (for the first-year participants) is based on participants' work on the daily problem sets and on the results of a midterm exam and a final exam.
For past PfT participants:
To request a transcript online, visit the BU Student Link. Click on Academics and then on Transcript Preview and Ordering. Type in your BU login name and Kerberos password. Click on Order a Transcript on the top right.
To request a transcript by mail, visit the Registrar Transcript Information page and follow the instructions.
Most participants teach in Massachusetts schools. However, we also invite teachers from out-of-state and from other countries. Recently, teachers from Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont have participated in the program. Since PfT is a commuter program, out-of-state (and Western Mass.) teachers are responsible for their own living arrangements. One option is to apply for summer residency in a graduate dormitory. Information about this may be found at the BU Office of Housing.
In addition, pre-service teachers from the BU School of Education have been participating in PROMYS each year since 1991. Any graduate student who registers for PROMYS courses CAS MA 547 and CAS MA 548 must first receive a stamped approval from the Instructor, Professor Glenn Stevens.
Math for America National may provide funding for a limited number of Master Teachers from around the country to attend PROMYS for Teachers. Housing on the Boston University campus would be provided.
Each teacher participant is invited to recommend a high school student to the PROMYS program. That student may be admitted to PROMYS through the usual admissions process for high school students. Students are admitted only for the summer of 2016. However, it is possible that students will be invited to return for a second summer to engage in advanced PROMYS activities.