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Project Pathways Profile

Project Pathways: A Math and Science Partnership Program for Arizona Targeted Project Track


Project Pathways targets mathematics and science learning and achievement in grades 9-12. The project will produce a research-based and tested model to support secondary mathematics and science teachers. Core partners include four school districts (Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, and Tolleson) and the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (CRESMET) at Arizona State University (ASU). The Maricopa Community College District and Intel are collaborators with ASU in delivering the project's research-based services and products to these districts. The demographics of the partner school districts mirror those of Arizona, where 45% of students are persons of color and the Hispanic population is expanding rapidly.

Pathways will produce tools and knowledge to guide secondary mathematics and science teachers in promoting conceptual learning and STEM behaviors that the literature deems essential for continued STEM learning and course-taking. These key behaviors include competence and flexibility in scientific inquiry, mathematical problem solving, and engineering design. A central concept is that of function, which research identifies as a unifying concept of secondary mathematics and science. As the core strategy of the Pathways model, teams of engineers, mathematicians and scientists will partner with master teachers and STEM education faculty to generate instructional sequences for both teachers and students. The instructional materials will take the form of modules for secondary mathematics and science teachers, with companion modules for secondary STEM classrooms and companion tools for secondary STEM learning communities. The professional learning community tools will support teachers in adapting their new knowledge and instructional approaches to their own classrooms by engaging them in deep reflections on their instruction and their students' learning. Pathways materials will be easily adaptable in any learning environment. In this project, however, they will be packaged for use in four courses in an ASU graduate degree program for inservice teachers, delivered on-site in the teachers' schools. To better assist Arizona's many bilingual students, Pathways will adapt student modules to an innovative, research-developed English language learner technology platform. Other Pathways strategies include activities (such as science fairs for students and a regional conference for high school guidance counselors) to encourage all students to take challenging mathematics and science courses and to consider science-based careers.

Teams of STEM education faculty and graduate students will research the effectiveness of the courses and learning communities on teachers' understanding of mathematics and science concepts and their understanding of the process by which foundational STEM concepts and behaviors develop in students. They will also investigate the process by which teachers shift their classroom practices to promote improved STEM learning in their students. Graduate research assistants will be recruited to participate in the Pathways project, preparing many future faculty for careers as STEM education researchers. Pathways will establish new patterns of information-sharing and collaboration among STEM scientists and educators, community college faculty, secondary administrators and teachers, and industry partners. The project aims to narrow the majority/minority achievement gap, encourage students to take challenging STEM courses, increase high school student STEM learning and achievement, and improve the pass rates in ASU's introductory calculus, physics and biology courses.

Site Contributions
12/20/17Decentering: A construct to analyze and explain teacher actions as they relate to student thinking
08/06/15Concepts And Reasoning For Calculus Learning
12/05/14An Adaptive Model for Supporting Shifts in Secondary Precalculus Instruction and Student Learning
07/05/12Sense of Place in the Practice and Assessment of Place-based Science Teaching
08/31/11Key Variables for Establishing and Sustaining Highly Effective Professional Learning Communities
04/14/11Using Research-based Curriculum to Support Shifts in Teachers' Key Pedagogical Understandings
04/14/11Interaction Between Teachers' Questions and Student Discourse
02/24/10Featured Paper Session: Coherence and Change in Teacher Professional Learning Communities
02/02/10Coherence and Change in Teacher Professional Learning Communities
02/01/10Transforming the Professional Development Culture and Quality of Mathematics and Science Instruction within a Secondary School
11/18/09The Design of Tasks in Support of Teachers' Development of Coherent Mathematical Meanings
11/18/09Documenting the Emergence of "Speaking with Meaning" as a Sociomathematical Norm in Professional Learning Community Discourse
07/30/09Cognitive and Affective Outcomes of a Southwest Place-based Approach to Teaching Introductory Geoscience
07/30/09Bilingual Language Supports in Online Science Inquiry Environments
07/30/09The Role of Quantitative Reasoning in Solving Applied Precalculus Problems
07/30/09Connecting Science and Mathematics: The Nature of Proof and Disproof in Science and Mathematics
07/30/09Layers of Abstraction: Theory and Design for the Instruction of Limit Concepts
07/30/09Foundational Reasoning Abilities That Promote Coherence in Students' Function Understanding
07/30/09An Investigation Into Precalculus Students' Conceptions of Angle Measure
06/06/07The Role of the Facilitator in Promoting Meaningful Discourse Among Professional Learning Communities of Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers
05/08/07How Old is The Earth? An Exploration of Geologic Time
10/31/05Assessing Mathematics Conceptual Knowledge and Teacher Beliefs in Secondary Mathematics