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Project Loci

Project Loci

Project Loci started as a research-practice partnership involving faculty/staff from the U-M School of Education and secondary mathematics teachers from a high-performing public school in New York.


The aims of that first partnership were to explore ways to modify some aspects of instruction in selected mathematics classes so as to maintain academic excellence and college entrance competitiveness while also increasing student autonomy and self-motivation, thereby reducing the occurrence of excess stress and related disabling conditions. Since that time, the research-practice partnership has expanded to include other universities and school-based programs in order to examine the potential for place-based education practices to disrupt the typical rules of mathematical problem solving in the high school classroom. Project Loci focuses on enabling students to gain facility with natural inquiry and real-world problem solving in order to understand how such experiences shape students’ dispositions toward mathematics, perceptions of mathematics instruction, and mathematical practices of sense-making. Project Loci aims to gauge, understand, and elevate students’ perceived mathematical value, motivation, confidence, and enjoyment. The end products of this work include an immersive place-based professional development program for secondary inservice mathematics teachers and a set of curricular materials for supporting place-based education in secondary mathematics.

Amanda Brown at [email protected] 

Project Team
Amanda Brown, Project Investigator 
Michael Mackey, Project Donor
CEDER, University of Michigan
Justin Dimmel, University of Maine
Carolyn Hetrick, University of Michigan 
Chandler Brown, University of Michigan
Lauren Johnston, University of Michigan
Inese Berzina-Pitcher, University of Michigan
Meghan Bairwal, University of Michigan

Project Loci Blog Post

Project Participants

Assistant Research Scientist, Marsal Family School of Education