The impact of the infinite mathematics project on teachers' knowledge and teaching practice: a case study of a title IIB MSP professional development initiative



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Kansas State University


Ongoing, effective professional development is viewed as an essential mechanism for eliciting change in teachers’ knowledge and practice in support of enacting the vision of NCTM’s Principles and Standards of School Mathematics. This case study of the Infinite Mathematics Project, a Title IIB MSP professional development initiative, seeks to provide a qualitative examination of the characteristics and strategies used in the project and their impact on teacher learning and practice. The project embodied many features and strategies of effective professional development such as: mathematics content focus; sustained over time; reform activities (e.g., lesson study, teacher collaboration); active learning opportunities (e.g., implementing an action plan; developing differentiated instruction activities for a mathematics classroom); coherence with NCTM and state standards; and collective participation by IHE facilitators and participant K-12 teachers from partner districts. The findings reveal teachers gained both content knowledge (knowledge about mathematics, substantive knowledge of mathematics, pedagogical content knowledge, and curricular knowledge) and pedagogical knowledge (knowledge about strategies for differentiating instruction in a mathematics classroom, for supporting students’ reading in the content area, for fostering the development of number sense, for implementing standards-based teaching, and for critically analyzing teaching). The study also provides some evidence that the project had an impact on teaching practice. In addition, an implication of the study suggests the positive impact of Title IIB MSP partnership requirements.



Content knowledge, Pedagogical knowledge, Professional development, Reform in mathematics education, Teacher knowledge, Teaching practice

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Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction Programs

Major Professor

David S. Allen; Margaret G. Shroyer