FROM POLLEN MIDWEST
The creation of Project PRIME took extraordinary collaboration among Black Hills State University (BHSU), Rapid City Area Schools (RCAS) and Technology and Innovation in Education. For over a decade, project partners worked to improve K-12 math education within RCAS, to strengthen teacher preparation at BHSU and to create a vibrant professional learning community across all three organizations. The partnership garnered a true collaborative in which each institution adapted—shifting and refining its approach—to become more effective together to achieve breakthroughs in mathematics teaching and learning.
Hierarchy and status didn’t have a place in discussions among the collaborators who dreamt up Project PRIME. To build a successful project, the team relied on open conversations where all partners held equal weight and brought a unique perspective to the table. The group built on individual ideas until it reached the best solution.
Teachers exclusively tested Project PRIME pilot programs and shared their thoughts through circle discussions. This input allowed the organization to rework its curriculum until it effectively addressed the specific learning needs of Rapid City Area Schools’ culturally mixed classrooms.