PROMYS for Teachers

PROMYS for Teachers 2019
Participants in PROMYS for Teachers 2019

An Immersion in Mathematics for Secondary Teachers

PROMYS for Teachers (PfT) is a collaboration between Boston University's Department of Mathematics and the Education Development Center (EDC) in Waltham, Massachusetts. Together, we are working to promote a "culture of exploration" in secondary school mathematics classrooms. Our experience proves that the joys of exploration and discovery can be experienced by secondary school students and teachers in ways that are not all that different from what a seasoned mathematics researcher experiences. Moreover, teachers who have such experiences are better prepared to encourage independent inquiry among their own students. Reports from PfT alumni confirm that all students benefit from this kind of instruction, not just the most talented ones.

Teacher participants at PROMYS earn credit which may be used toward a graduate degree program and a stipend (for the online program in summer 2021, first-year participants will earn professional development points). Returning teachers take on advanced projects and seminars. Some are working towards certification; others have been teaching for many years. Ninety percent of PROMYS teachers work in public high schools, mostly in Massachusetts, and over half in high-needs school districts. For most teachers, the program is non-residential.

“The best thing that PROMYS has done for me is that it has allowed me a way to guide the students to finding solutions on their own and persevering on their own by guiding them with questions and giving them strategies as opposed to giving them the answers…. I want them to be self-sufficient.
Sarah Meloni
Framingham High School, Framingham, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2008, 2010, Counselor 2011 

Related Initiatives in Math Education

PROMYS for Teachers has been influential in the development of several other significant initiatives:

PROMYS Math Circle

PROMYS Math Circle (PMC) was launched in 2016, as a part of enhanced efforts to reach out to mathematically talented students in Massachusetts, particularly those from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds in STEM. Under the guidance of mentors (PfT alumni and graduate students in mathematics), PMC students engage in weekly exploration-based math circles, working collaboratively on specially-designed problem sets. Four PMC students participated in PROMYS during summer 2018 (including one returning student), each receiving full or substantial scholarships.

Math for America Boston

Math for America (MfA) Boston, in operation 2010-2020, was a partnership between Boston University and Boston College, with support from NSF's Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, private donors, and private foundations. MfA Boston’s mission was to improve mathematics education in greater Boston public secondary schools by recruiting, training, and retaining talented mathematics teachers. All participants began their program with the six-week PfT immersion experience. MfA Boston built an ongoing community of mathematically expert master teachers and teaching fellows who contribute to enriching the intellectual landscape of all math teachers working in Boston-area schools.

Focus on Mathematics

Focus on Mathematics was a ten-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Math and Science Partnership of five school districts, three universities, and a R&D institution (EDC), centered at Boston University and founded on the principles of PROMYS. The partnership developed a portfolio of programs including academic year seminars, colloquia, summer institutes, math fairs, school-based study groups with core involvement of mathematicians, and degree programs, including PROMYS for Teachers.

Distinctive to all of these programs is the deeply personal engagement by all participants in authentic mathematical experiences within interacting communities of students, teachers, educators, and mathematicians.


2021 PfT flyer