Services for Educators

Math Smart! and Science Smart! – IDRA Services

A Systemic Leadership Model for Student Success in Math and Science


In closing achievement gaps in mathematics and science, the nation has made minimal gains since 2005, while the diversity of our nation’s students has grown dramatically. Math Smart! and Science Smart!, developed by the Intercultural Development Research Association and tested in partnership with diverse school districts, are designed to address these gaps.

Math Smart! and Science Smart! build excitement around STEM teaching and learning, raising student achievement and closing gaps. Unlike one-size-fits-all programs, these models assess current contexts to design tailored strategies that build on student and school strengths. Each component is grounded in research and best practices on STEM teaching for diverse students.

Core Components

Beginning with a comprehensive assessment and contextual analysis, Math Smart! and Science Smart! comprise six core components: (1) strengthening teacher math and science content knowledge; (2) ensuring that teachers use culturally-responsive pedagogy; (3) supporting teacher success in the classroom; (4) supporting teacher innovation with strong administrative leadership and advocacy; (5) establishing and maintaining a cognitively demanding curriculum; and (6) using data on a continuous basis to inform instructional decision making and establish an accountability system.

Key Activities

IDRA training uses a variety of ways to work with school staff, such as workshop training, video conferences, demonstration lessons, pre-classroom observations, project webinars, online discussions and reflections. IDRA provides support for face-to-face and online coaching and mentoring sessions.







  • Improved performance in state standardized performance indicators.
  • Increased teacher and student efficacy.
  • Increased utilization of academic vocabulary based on frequency of use observed during coaching and mentoring classroom visits.
  • Increase use of inquiry-based teaching and learning to raise student achievement in STEM.
  • Increased content knowledge for teachers and students as indicated by teacher and student reflections.
  • Instruction focus shifts to include more student-centered pedagogical practices that facilitate higher order critical thinking skills as evidenced by the engagement level of all learners.
  • Increased use of technology and manipulatives based on frequency of use observed during coaching and mentoring classroom visits.
  • Increased collective leadership as evidenced by implementation of new roles by various stakeholders within a professional learning community.

Learn more!

Student Voices about Math Smart! – Hear what students are saying about their math learning

Teacher Voices about Math Smart! – Hear what Math Smart! teachers are saying about changes in their classrooms

See articles and podcasts featuring Math Smart!

Getting Started at Your School with Math Smart!