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Center for Mathematics and Science Education
The University of Mississippi

Professional Learning Division

The CMSE has a mission to improve mathematics and science education in Mississippi by fostering an interaction between academic and K-12 education communities, supporting the implementation of research-based methods in the classroom and promoting interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

Our professional learning philosophy is centered around three ideas: Explore, Analyze, and Engage.  Throughout every aspect of work that falls within the CMSE Professional Learning Division we seek to:

EXPLORE current research and publications related to the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.

ANALYZE student thinking, reasoning, and misconceptions to improve the strategies we use in the learning environment.

ENGAGE learners in experiencing mathematics and science content in ways that are meaningful for themselves and their students.

Whether we are working with classroom teachers and administrators or UM students, this philosophy of exploring, analyzing, and engaging adult learners in research-based experiences has shown tremendous impact on the content knowledge and instructional practices of teachers across our state.

The CMSE has provided quality professional development through funded projects since 2007. As curriculum changes took place in our state, we saw the need for more focused efforts to provide research-based, quality professional development opportunities to help math and science teachers in Mississippi better understand their content, meet the expectations of the new standards, and support students in learning.  With this vision, the CMSE established the Professional Development Division in 2011 and hired Dr. Julie James to serve as the Professional Development Coordinator.  Since then, the CMSE has expanded its offerings to include one-day and two-day workshops, professional development institutes, conferences, and on-site school and district level training.  In 2018, CMSE restructured its divisions and the Professional Learning Division took on the work of professional development, graduate fellowships, undergraduate assistantships, and coordination of UM mathematics courses for education majors. The staffing of the division has grown to include Dr. Whitney Jackson as the Professional Development Coordinator for science and continues to be led by Dr. Julie James as the Assistant Director of Professional Learning.