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EnCoMPASS: Emerging Communities for Mathematical Practices and Assessment

PLEASE NOTE: PIs and Co-PIs are listed alphabetically.


EnCoMPASS: Emerging Communities for Mathematical Practices and Assessment


Jason Silverman, Ph.D. (PI)
Associate Professor of Mathematics Education
School of Education


Carol Brandt, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of Science Education
Temple University

Valerie Klein, Ph.D.
Professional Collaboration Leader
The Math Forum

Wesley Shumar, Ph.D.
Professor of Culture and Communication
College of Arts and Sciences

Stephen Weimar
The Math Forum

Hope Yursa
Clinical Assistant Professor
School of Education


National Science Foundation logo National Science Foundation (NSF)
Amount of Award: $2.2 million


The EnCoMPASS research is primarily designed to address how to enhance the ability of teachers to provide STEM education, both through improved assessment of student knowledge and skills and in an interrelated manner. The proposed project focuses on supporting improvement in mathematics learning and teaching through the development of an online professional teaching community that can help teachers develop their content knowledge for teaching while being more effective at supporting the mathematical development of individual students.

teenage students in a classroomThese goals will be accomplished through a design research methodology that begins with initial conjectures about the importance of (a) starting with participant engagement through meaningful professional development focusing on analyzing, organizing, and supporting student thinking, (b) providing support and resources to develop interactive rubrics and associated learner feedback and connecting these activities with previous professional development, and (c) supporting the emergence of the Math Forum Enhanced Rubric User Community.

Using a design research methodology, particular aspects of these initial design conjectures will be tested and revised to study

  • the emergence of a professional community, as evidenced by the development of shared goals and normative practices and participants’ movement from peripheral participation to more central roles in the community
  • teacher development, documented by increases in mathematical knowledge for teaching, the mathematical quality of instruction, integration of rubric-based, assessment of students’ mathematical practices into classroom instruction, and overall shifts in the focus of assessment and its role in instruction, and
  • student learning, as evidenced by both rubric data documenting students’ knowledge of mathematical content, process, and practices and the nature and extent of student-teacher interactions and students’ revisions.

This project places improving participant classrooms and instructional practice at the heart of the research and development of formative assessment materials and tools, as well as the resulting professional learning community and will provide extensive professional development for 75 Fellows who will be recruited from Drexel’s partner school districts, which all have significant proportions of underrepresented minorities. The major deliverables produced will be used with project participants (5 districts, 60 schools and 3300 individual teachers serving more than 30,000 students), the wider Math Forum community with its 2-3 million visits/month, and also provide, as other Math Forum programs have, a resource and infrastructure for other researchers and educational programs.