What is PSI-PMI?

Physics icon (stylized atom)
Physics
Chemistry icon (stylized beaker)
Chemistry
Biology icon (stylized branch with five leaves)
Biology
Math icon (stylized calculator)
Math

The Progressive Science Initiative® and Progressive Mathematics Initiative® empower educators to increase student engagement in K-12 science and mathematics, boost achievement and transform schools. PSI and PMI shake up traditional education with a powerful and fully integrated approach that includes not only course materials, but also innovative and effective recommendations for curriculum, teacher methods, environment, scheduling, policies and practices.

PSI and PMI create an engaging environment for students. PSI and PMI classrooms are filled with lively debate and collaborative problem solving. They make science and math the favorite subjects of many students as they achieve exceptional understanding.

Be The One - Improve Student Math & Science

Also, by offering complete sets of free editable course materials for all K-12 math and science, PSI and PMI reduce the stress of daily lesson planning for teachers, eliminate the expense of textbooks and allow for real-time continuous improvement. They also create K-12 vertical alignment from year to year, and horizontal alignment between math and science in each year. This provides unprecedented coherence for both teachers and students, which has never before been possible.

Read more about the PSI-PMI paradigm. 

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Requirements & Recommendations

as follows below

Curriculum

CTL programs replace textbooks with free digital content aligned to new standards in science and mathematics. Our content is used both in classrooms on Interactive White Boards (IWB) as well as distributed to students either as printouts or electronically.

The curriculum is updated frequently using the feedback from teachers using it in classrooms around the world. This allows the material to remain current and relevant.

The PSI science sequence

In high schools implementing PSI, the science sequence becomes physics-chemistry-biology, with all those courses required for all students; and the elective AP course sequence would become AP Physics - AP Chemistry - AP Biology (with each AP course immediately following the introductory course).

There are several reasons why PSI uses the Physics-Chemistry-Biology sequence. In order to understand modern Biology, students need to understand Chemistry, and to understand Chemistry, students must understand Physics. In addition, mathmatics aligns better with Physics at the beginning of the science sequence. Finally, this sequence maximizes the number of Advanced Placement (AP) science courses students can take.

A New Sequence of STEM Subjects
Chart of courses
A New Sequence of STEM Subjects - with APs
Chart of advanced courses
Teaching Methods

CTL's free digital courseware embeds a set of research-based methods which are designed to improve student achievement.

People standing together.
Social Constructivism

Social Constructivism is the notion that people construct knowledge through group interaction. In the classroom this translates to groups of students working together towards a common goal. While individual students are ultimately responsible for demonstrating mastery, the group interaction speeds up learning.

Instructor at a whiteboard.
Direct Instruction

Since students cannot be expected to discover all of math and science on their own, teachers still need to use direct instruction. Typical PSI and PMI classrooms use about 5-10 minutes of direct instruction to introduce a new topic. At the end of that time, students work together in groups to solve problems (i.e. social constructivism).

A person raising their hand to answer a question.
Formative Assessment

Teachers use embedded, live formative assessment questions after each new topic to know if their students have understood it. Students work in their groups to solve the problems and are then each responsible for entering their answer into a polling device. These results are immediately available to the teacher to help the teacher decide how to proceed - do they reteach, move on to the next problem, or skip the next problem altogether.

A pencil marking an answer on an assessment.
Summative Assessment

Grades are based only on what students know and can do - tests, quizzes, and labs. This creates an objective grade increasing the correlation of a students' grade with End of Course (EOC) tests such as Advanced Placement (AP). Class participation and homework are part of the everyday call routine, but are not included in a student's grade. Furthermore, if a student does not perform well, he or she can retake any assessment and get the higher grade. Students can then learn from their mistakes which results in more learning.

Be The One - Improve Student Math & Science
Use of Technology
Interactive whiteboard

Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) are used to deliver PSI-PMI course content in the classroom.

Polling device

Polling devices, called Student Responders, are used to evaluate embedded formative assessment.

Polling devices, such as student response devises from einstruction by Turning Technologies or “bring your own device” (BYOD), are used to evaluate embedded formative assessment. CTL and einstruction offers discounts on student response devices for districts adopting PSI-PMI.

Environment
Circle with 5 feet written inside

Group of students working on schoolwork CTL recommends that classrooms be furnished with five-foot, round student tables and chairs to facilitate social constructivist interaction.

Student at interactive smartboard

An Interactive White Board is the primary means for instruction, on one wall, and a large conventional white board is placed on another wall for ancillary and additional student work.

Labs

Lab supplies, hands-on materials and additional software to support PSI-PMI are found on the course content pages of the website.

Scheduling

CTL recommends the following in terms of scheduling:

Mathematics classes meet every day for a minimum of 40 minutes.

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Science classes meet for a minimum of 40 minutes for four days each week and once a week for a minimum of 60 minutes, to provide time for experiments.

Chemistry icon (stylized beaker) Stylized clock

Professional Learning Communities are enabled by providing a class period, at least one day each week, for teachers to collaborate.

Classes are heterogeneous to the extent practical, and tracking is minimized.

After-school tutoring sessions are established to enable heterogeneous classes to be successful by providing students a chance to learn from their teachers and/or peers outside of the normal class time, and to take retakes.

Be The One - Improve Student Math & Science
Policies and Practices

Grading policies correlate all assessments to the End of Course Assessment in each course using the PSI-PMI correlation table. In other words, grades are based on the objective outcomes of work done in front of the teacher. No grades are given for homework, participation, behavior, attendance, etc.; only for the results of assessments (with a small contribution from laboratory work).

Retakes of all major assessments are encouraged (with only the highest grade counting) so that the emphasis is on what students learn and not when they learn. This allows students multiple opportunities to succeed and build their confidence.

Teacher assisting students

Teachers collaborate, when possible, to give assessments on the same day so that all students can study together or get help from any teacher.

Teaching assignments are made so that all teachers are teaching children with a spectrum of past achievement; as wide a diversity of grade levels as possible; and as many content areas as possible in order to encourage school-wide cohesion and strong horizontal / vertical curriculum articulations.

Teacher leadership is promoted so that teachers share in both the responsibility for student achievement and the authority to take actions to improve it.

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