The work of the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC is informed by the body of available research on adult learning, adults use of math in and out of school, and on children’s mathematical thinking development. We take a research-based approach in our work, collaborating with educators, partners, and evaluators. In recent projects, our staff have worked closely with external evaluators to document the impact on teachers and others.

The Adult Numeracy Center offers:

Professional development

Our professional development programs and workshops are appropriate for teachers of all levels and experience —whether they have a strong math background or have some math anxiety of their own! Our goal is to inspire math learning with an emphasis on meaning. Our trainings provide opportunities for teachers to foster conceptual understanding, improve reasoning and justification skills, and to share experiences with peers. 

We can custom design our professional development for targeted, content-based workshops or help programs and states create initiatives that put in place a sustainable, long-term model to support both teachers and administrators. Learn more about the options by visiting Our Projects.

Materials & resource development

The ANC is well-known for its development of curricula and supporting resources, and has developed materials for specific audiences and purposes. For example, 

  • The EMPower series covers a range of math topics from conceptual and contextualized perspectives and is designed specifically for adults. Each of the seven units comprises a teacher book and a student book. The teacher books contain detailed lesson plans as well as a commentary on each lesson that includes math background, rationale, and reflections on the lessons.
  • The Curriculum for Adults Learning Math (CALM) is a complete curriculum that takes students from ABE level through ASE level in a coherent, developmental progression. It prioritizes conceptual understanding, is rich with applications, and can be used with all levels. (The SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy Curriculum & Instruction PD Center provides ongoing in person and virtual support to teachers using CALM.)
  • Statistics for Action materials were created to help environmental organizers and citizens in affected communities to understand and communicate data about toxic issues.
  • The ANC and researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver have worked with health educators on materials for adults with diabetes to increase numeracy as a means to help achieve better health outcomes.


ANC staff are experienced at helping programs and states implement best practices while ensuring their curricula are aligned with frameworks, and can operate within system mandates. Our recent work has focused on assisting programs to align with the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education based on Common Core Math Practices.

We also offer support in adapting both traditional math content and specialized content for a range of audiences, including learners with limited literacy and numeracy skills.