TIAN began as a four-year project funded by the National Science Foundation. The project was a collaboration between the Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC, a non-profit educational organization in Cambridge, MA.
In 2005, the Center for Literacy Studies received a $1.16 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Teacher Professional Continuum program (NSF_ESI-0455610). This project, conducted in collaboration with TERC, developed, piloted, and field-tested a model for standards-based mathematics in-service professional development for adult basic education teachers. The model uses teacher inquiry and reflective learning to engage teachers in learning how to implement purposeful and effective standards-based mathematics instructional approaches to algebra and data analysis. Massachusetts and Ohio pilot-tested the model in 2005–2006, and it was field-tested in four additional states in 2006–2008.
The components of the model include three intensive two-day institutes, using materials developed at TERC under a previous NSF grant (EMPower), local between-institute meetings, a website, and close coordination with the state's ABE office and staff development resource center. For example, in Massachusetts, TIAN was developed with a team from the MA Department of Education and SABES, the state literacy resource center. In Ohio, the Ohio Department of Education and OLRC were the collaborators.