As part of a transformative five-year, $4.7 million NSF grant, CUEL in collaboration with the UIC Learning Science Research Institute (LSRI) has been partnering with four K-8 districts. Named the “Collaborating around Structures, Processes, and Instructional Routines” (CASPIR) Math Project, its aim is to support scalable math instruction and learning via research-practice partnerships between districts and universities. Individuals leading aspects of this project include LSRI Director and CUEL Occasional Collaborator Alison Superfine-Castro, CUEL Director Shelby Cosner, Ben Superfine, EDPS Faculty Member and CUEL Occasional Collaborator, and Craig De Voto LSRI Research Scientist and CUEL Occasional Collaborator.

Current work with three districts has focused on the development of district-level leadership teams and the leadership practices of district, school, and teacher leaders to support the improvement of mathematics instruction. One key element of this work that CUEL Director Cosner has been leading focuses on the development of central office administrators and building-level principals for the work of creating environments within schools that are conducive to adult learning and instructional inquiry.

With one year left, the CASPIR team is poised to sustain its impactful efforts across these districts. Preliminary data indicates marked enhancements in both math proficiency among students and the adoption of high-quality instructional practices by educators. This progress underscores the NSF project’s significance and promises continued success in advancing K-8 math improvement.