National Center
for Improving Student Learning and Achievement in Mathematics and Science (NCISLA)


A research-based multimedia product
for teachers, professional developers, administrators, policymakers,
and schools of education

Researchers at the UW-based National Center for Improving Student Learning and Achievement in Mathematics and Science have conducted studies and professional development programs with teachers in diverse schools for eight years. Out of that work has emerged Powerful Practices in Mathematics and Science -- a multimedia product that distills key ideas from a significant body of research.

Comprised of two CD-s and a 40-page monograph, Powerful Practices presents a vision of instruction in which students engage in inquiry -- and come to understand key ideas -- through using practices similar to those used by professional mathematicians and scientists.

“Constructing models, making generalizations, and justifying their ideas are practices that all students can learn, even very young students,” states Center Director Thomas Carpenter. “In fact, our research shows that these practices give students early access to the important ideas of mathematics and science and are a critical part of the content students need to learn.“

With its goal being to invigorate mathematics and science education and to build awareness of what is possible across primary and secondary grades, Powerful Practices may be used in a variety of ways and forums by a variety of audiences.

Powerful Practices features three complementary resources:

• A monograph summarizing the principles underlying instruction that takes seriously developing the practices of modeling, generalization, and justification. Narrative examples from education research classrooms and references to studies and professional development are included.

• A 35-minute introductory video (CD1) that provides an overview of the themes discussed in the monograph and illustrates them with episodes from classrooms.

• Video excerpts (CD2) from nine mathematics and science classrooms across primary and secondary grades. These episodes provide more extended clips of some of the classes portrayed in the introductory video as well as several other cases. Each of the clips is supported by written narrative.

Powerful Practices in Mathematics and Science is being distributed by the North Central Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Consortium (NCESMC).

To order Powerful Practices, visit Learning Point Associates’ product catalog,

Learning Point Associates
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, Illinois 60563