The program aims to increase students’ competencies and interest for real-world Math by improving Math teaching and assessment practices. 





Into a data intensive world, data literacy, defined as the ability to work with, understand, and use data, is a key skill for succeeding in many professional fields, but also for navigating the day-to-day life. Some researchers (Boaler et al., 2021) expressed concerns that students failing to achieve data literacy were vulnerable to data misrepresentations, populist discourses and fake news, which may pose “a threat to truth and democracy” and argued for a more comprehensive integration of data science in school curriculum.   


In the international study TIMSS 2019, the Math performance of Romanian students is among the lowest in European Union. Furthermore, when breaking down the results on content domains, for the subscale Data and Probabilities, Romanian students are performing significantly lower than their overall Mathematics score. In Romania, the Math curriculum adopted in 2017 sets data analysis skills as one of the learning outcomes for 5-8 grade students. But as revealed by the international studies, the students don`t perform as expected which is raising questions about Math teachers’ practice. As data analysis is a skill, not a topic, it needs to be covered across the curriculum, therefore, teachers must learn to work more intentionally with real-life data when teaching mathematical notions. 

In the last two years, the program has provided various instruments for upskilling Math teaching, especially data science topics, through an e-learning course finalized by about 180 teachers and ready-to-use teaching resources.

The program is now expanding towards a Continuous Professional Development program tackling all Math curriculum for grades 5 to 8, integrating teaching practices with demonstrated effects on students’ learning, with a greater emphasis on areas that are more problematic for Romanian teachers (e.g. real-world applications, feedback, and formative assessment) under the supervision of an international academic advisor.





Teachers are offered a well-researched, effective Continuous Professional Development package: 

  • Ready to use teaching resources, created by Math teachers and tested in the classroom are available online, free to download by any interested teacher.  
  • Community of practice with a group of Math teachers involved in webinars, share of best practices, open classes, action research, Open Class practice (teachers assisting in other teachers’ classes and providing feedback).
  • Self-paced, synchronous, online and offline courses for teachers, tackling various relevant subjects (e.g. real-world applications, formative assessment methods, metacognitive strategy instruction, multiple approaches to mathematical problem-solving), offering also the opportunity to reflect on the teaching that leads to most progress in students’ interest and engagement with Math. 

At the same time ASPIRE is working for growing as an organization and ensuring the sustainability of the program. Their effort is informed by evidence gathered from experts and regular evaluations of their activities and outcomes.  





The program will reach over 500 teachers and impact over 56,000 students in the next period. The main performance indicators are:

  • Improved teaching skills: minimum 70% of the teachers participating in both training and community of practice.
  • Visible changes observed in the teaching practices in the classrooms for a convenience sample of teachers (qualitative data collected through 10 class observations).
  • Improved pedagogical knowledge on individual topics: minimum 50% of Math teachers attending professional development short events (e.g. webinars, open class etc.).
  • Improved students’ performance in solving real-world problems: average scores 30% higher for students taught by trained teachers, compared to control group peers (50 students in each experimental and control group).
  • Improved students’ engagement: minimum 30% of the students from classes taught by trained teachers register higher engagement in learning Math in post-intervention survey.