Mary Jane SchmittMary Jane Schmitt 
Adult Numeracy Projects Director 
(617) 873-9600

Program/Areas of Interest

Adult Numeracy; Teacher Professional Development; Out-of-School Math Learning

TERC Projects

Biographical Summary

Mary Jane Schmitt has been involved with adult numeracy—the intersection of the adult education and mathematics education fields—for over thirty years. She founded and directs the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC—a constellation of projects contributing to innovative research and development in adult mathematics education. The Center’s reach has extended to adult basic education, high school equivalency progams, community college developmental education programs, alternative high schools, and informal out-of-school settings.

Mary Jane is the principal/co-principal investigator of three National Science Foundation grants: EMPowerTIAN: Teachers Investigating Adult Numeracy, andStatistics for Action, and is on the management team of the U.S. Department of Education’s Adult Numeracy Instruction Project. She has overseen professional development initiatives in mathematics for several adult education programs, including NYC Department of Education, Arizona Department of Education, Kansas Board of Regents, the Massachusetts Division of Youth Services, and the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services. She has also developed and administered professional and program development projects on the state level for the Massachusetts Department of Education and for the U.S. Department of Education.

In 1994, she co-founded the Adult Numeracy Network, an at-large affiliate of NCTM. She has authored several articles related to adults learning mathematics, contributed significantly to the framework for the international Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL) Survey (OECD), and served on several committees, including the National Academies of Sciences’ Committee on Adult Literacy Performance Levels.

Download Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Numeracy Conceptual Framework for the International Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL) Survey I. Gal, M. van Groenestijn, M. Manly,Mary Jane Schmitt, and D. Tout (1999) . Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
  • The Components of Numeracy Mary Jane Schmitt and Myrna Manly (2006) National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) . Harvard University.
  • The EMPower Project: Connecting Curriculum Development and Research Mary Jane Schmitt and Martha Merson (2007) Toward Defining and Improving Quality in Adult Basic Education . Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • The Impact of a Professional Development Model on ABE Teachers' Instructional Practice: Teachers Investigating Adult Numeracy M.B. Bingman and Mary Jane Schmitt (2008) Adult Learning 19 (3-4) 27-33
  • The Inclusion of Numeracy in Adult Basic Education Mary Jane Schmitt and Dave Tout (2002) The Annual Review of Adult Learning and Literacy . San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. pp 152-202.


Council on Adult Basic Education, Adult Numeracy Network, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Adults Learning Mathematics-A Research Forum


2004 COABE Kenneth J. Mattran Award