The mission of the national Math Teachers’ Circle (MTC) program, developed at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), is to establish the foundation for a culture of problem solving among middle school math teachers in the U.S. By fostering the confidence to tackle open-ended math problems, middle school teachers become better equipped to initiate more student-centered, inquiry-based pedagogies in their classrooms.
“Math Circles are a form of education outreach and enrichment through which mathematicians and mathematical scientists share their passion with K-12 teachers and students. The Math Circle landscape includes two types of programs that can operate standing alone or in coordination: Math Students’ Circles and Math Teachers’ Circles. Math Circles bring K-12 students or K-12 mathematics teachers together with mathematically sophisticated leaders in an informal setting, to work on interesting problems or topics in mathematics. The Math Circles combine significant content with a setting that encourages a sense of discovery and excitement about mathematics through problem solving and interactive exploration. Ideal problems are low-threshold, high-ceiling; they offer a variety of entry points and can be approached with minimal mathematical background, but lead to deep mathematical concepts and can be connected to advanced mathematics.” https://www.mathcircles.org/Wiki_WhatIsAMathCircle
TMTC was the first math circle in Oklahoma with its inception in October, 2013. TMTC now averages 35 teachers at monthly evening meetings on a school night. TGMC, the first girls’ math circle in Oklahoma, is now in its third year and averages 25 middle school girls on weekly evening meetings that run for six week stretches three times per year. Math Circles are thriving in Tulsa!
The Tulsa Math Teachers’ Circle hosted its’ inaugural meeting in October, 2013.
The program was formed:
- To engage middle school math teachers in mathematical problem solving and involve them in an ongoing dialogue about math with students, colleagues, and professional mathematicians; and
- To provide guidance, materials, and resources to middle school math teachers that will enable them to promote open-ended problem solving as a way of learning, thinking about, and practicing mathematics in their classrooms.