A monograph for professionals in science,
mathematics, and technology education

Professional Development That Supports
School Mathematics Reform

Raffaella Borasi and Judith Fonzi

Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation

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About Foundations
Foundations is a monograph series published by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE) in conjunction with the Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication (REC) to serve those working to better science, mathematics, and technology education in this nation. Foundations supports education reform by communicating lessons that have been learned from ESIE projects and activities to others in the field who may use and adapt them to build effective educational improvement strategies in their own classrooms and communities. Like the foundation of a schoolhouse, home, or other place of learning, the strength of what is above ground depends on the structural soundness of what lies below. Foundations will unearth the strategies that enable effective educational improvement at the K–12 level to take place. Welcome to Foundations…


In This Volume
Foundations examines opportunities and challenges for those at the front line of mathematics education in elementary and secondary schools. Designed as a resource for teachers and administrators who are interested in investigating inquiry-based mathematics education, this volume serves neither as a textbook nor as the final word on the subject. It is rather a short introduction for those beginning the complex and difficult journey of mathematics education reform based on the experiences of educators working in the inquiry field today.

FOUNDATIONS is published by the Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, (ESIE) in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The series is produced under contract with Westat.

This issue of FOUNDATIONS, based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-9553579, was written by Raffaella Borasi and Judith Fonzi, mathematics education faculty in the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester, Rochester New York. Developing and implementing professional development experiences focused on school mathematics reform for pre-service and in-service teachers is at the core of the work of these authors. They have a long history of research and practice in teaching mathematics through inquiry and in fostering and supporting mathematics systemic reform.

Our sincere thanks go to Iris Weiss from Horizon Research Inc. and Judy Mumme from WestEd for their insightful and thoughtful input as consultant-reviewers. Our thanks also go to school administrators Tom and Pat Foley, Lesley Flick, and Leslee Mabee, and fellow faculty member and professional development provider Dina Markowitz for their valuable input as practitioner-reviewers.

The authors worked in cooperation with Diane Spresser, Program Director, ESIE, National Science Foundation, in designing the purpose, outline, and content of this issue. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. For more information about elementary and secondary education, please contact:

Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Room 885
Arlington, VA 22230
(703) 292-8620