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Mathematical Reasoning with Connections


Great News! The US Department of Education STEM Newsletter spotlighted our MRWC program in their Sept. 2021 newsletter. Read about the article (copied below) and you can see the article on its original page.

STEM Newsletter

Mathematical Reasoning with Connections (MRWC) is a fourth-year high school mathematics course designed to prepare students for the rigor of college mathematics. MRWC is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3*) grant awarded in 2016. It is designed as a bridge to postsecondary mathematics required in STEM and non-STEM majors.

MRWC embeds the Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs) as an integral component of the course. Led by a team of high school, county office, community college, and university educators, MRWC teachers and coaches grow in their own conceptual understanding of advanced-level math and pedagogical shifts needed to implement the curriculum. Participants learn how to infuse technology, SMPs, and the Five Practices for Mathematical Discourse into every lesson. Second Year and Beyond professional learning (PL) workshops were implemented after overwhelming requests from teachers to have additional opportunities beyond their initial 20 days of PL.

A total of 21 districts, 70 schools, 8,700 students, 134 teachers and 36 instructional coaches have participated in the work. The initial evidence suggests MRWC students outperform controls on end-of-year assessments. Notably, MRWC students' attitudes toward math, the usefulness of math, and their desire to take math in the future are improving, whereas control students' attitudes are either decreasing or remaining unchanged.

Students have expressed how the MRWC course has helped them be open to different ideas, enable them to better explain the necessity of math, and persist when roadblocks arise. Teachers articulated that the PL has helped change instructional practices in MRWC and other classes as well as deepened their conceptual understanding of higher-level math.  For additional information, please contact Teresa Cummings, PhD at or (916)204-4227.

*The i3 grant has been renamed the Education Innovation and Research program.