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Introduction and Implementation Strategies for the Interactive Mathematics Program: A Guide for Teacher-Leaders and Administrators

The IMP® Organization

In 1992, with the award of a major implementation grant from NSF, IMP began developing an organizational structure to support dissemination of the program. This structure consists of a national office, including IMP's four directors; regional centers around the country, each of which has its own regional directors; and an ever-growing cadre of teacher-leaders who provide support as local coordinators throughout the country.

The IMP National Directors

Dan Fendel earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University.

Diane Resek earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in mathematical logic from the University of California at Berkeley. Fendel and Resek have taught and developed curricula for students of all ages - from kindergarten through graduate school - and have extensive experience in both preservice and inservice training of teachers.

Lynne Alper and Sherry Fraser also have degrees in mathematics and extensive classroom teaching experience. Collaborating closely with the authors, they brought to IMP their many years of practical experience in teaching secondary mathematics and in planning, organizing, and developing mathematics inservices for K–12 teachers. Both Alper and Fraser taught the first three years of the IMP curriculum at Berkeley High School and gave feedback throughout to the two authors. Fraser is also teaching all four years of the revised, prepublication version of the curriculum. Both also regularly provide support to teachers through visits to IMP classrooms.

Fraser's and Alper's longtime focus on increasing the participation of minority and female students in secondary mathematics continues to be important to this project's goal of developing a curriculum and pedagogy that provide better access to higher-quality mathematics education for these previously underrepresented groups.

IMP Regional Directors

Since 1992, the dissemination of the IMP curriculum has built on a structure of regional centers, each led by a team of two to four regional directors. With the support of the national directors, regional directors provide guidance and expertise in the process of implementation. Support for the structure of regional centers has come from grants from NSF and private foundations, and from a variety of local sources.

Changing the curriculum requires hard work. Teachers at an inservice for Year 3 prepare their group presentation.
The regional director teams have a variety of skills and experience. They may be university faculty, mathematics supervisors, teacher-educators, or master classroom teachers released part-time from their districts. Regional directors perform many functions.
  • They teach the program in regular high school classrooms.
  • They visit schools, providing on-site support and suggestions to teachers.
  • They provide mathematical expertise to teachers who are dealing with unfamiliar mathematics content.
  • They lead inservice workshops.
  • They provide advice about communicating with the general public, especially parents, about the mathematics education goals of a school or district.
  • They help schools and districts to develop plans for implementation and to obtain the funds needed to implement change.
  • They speak at mathematics education conferences and in other forums, articulating the reasons why change is needed and communicating the educational principles that underlie the IMP curriculum.

IMP Local Coordinators

The final level of IMP leadership is the local level, where local coordinators support and assist implementation at a single school or group of schools. Local coordinators are experienced IMP teachers, so this level of leadership lies with classroom practitioners. This practice arises from IMP's policy of promoting professional development opportunities for classroom teachers.

Local coordinators handle many tasks, including public relations and communication with feeder schools, and provide educational leadership to a school's IMP teaching team. They actively encourage networking among IMP teachers within their school communities and across schools, districts, and states, through professional conferences, telephone contact, school visits, and electronic mail.

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