Instructional Practice

Assessing Teachers' Pedagogical Design Capacity and Mathematics Curriculum Use (Collaborative Research: Kim)

This project is assessing the capacities needed by elementary teachers for productive use of mathematics curriculum materials. The project is guided by the assumption that well-designed curriculum programs have the potential to contribute to improvement in mathematics learning opportunities in K-12 classrooms. Yet, minimal research has examined the kind of knowledge and capacities necessary for teachers to use these resources productively. The project will undertake such research and develop tools to assess these capacities.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0918126
Funding Period: 
Tue, 09/01/2009 to Sat, 08/31/2013
Project Evaluator: 
Steve Ziebarth

Assessment for Learning Research Scholars: Capacity Building in Mathematics and Science Education

This project seeks to advance knowledge in K-12 STEM education and assessment practices by building capacity for Assessment for Learning, improving assessments and teacher preparation courses, and providing models for pre-service teacher preparation through enhanced teaching modules. Three goals are: (1) faculty from three centers form a learning community, (2) recruit 5 STEM research scholars to conduct research on measurement and evaluation, and (3) expose pre-service teachers to assessment models in their coursework.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0733590
Funding Period: 
Sat, 09/01/2007 to Tue, 08/31/2010

Building Systems for Quality Teaching and Learning in Science

This project develops tools and materials that address the need schools have to implement results-oriented teacher learning programs that ensure highly qualified science teachers in every classroom. The project will (1) develop and disseminate the Building Systems for Quality Teaching and Learning in Science Simulation and Facilitator Guide, and (2) develop and disseminate three Building Systems for Science Learning Modules.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0553174
Funding Period: 
Thu, 06/01/2006 to Mon, 05/31/2010

Math Pathways and Pitfalls: Capturing What Works for Anytime Anyplace Professional Development

Math Pathways & Pitfalls lessons for students boost mathematics achievement for diverse students, including English Learners, English Proficient students, and Latino students. This project develops modules that increase teachers’ capacity to employ the effective and equitable principles of practice embodied by Math Pathways & Pitfalls and apply these practices to any mathematics lesson. This four-year project develops, field tests, and evaluates 10 online professional development modules.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0918834
Funding Period: 
Tue, 09/15/2009 to Fri, 08/31/2012
Full Description: 

Researchers and developers at WestEd are developing, field-testing, and evaluating ten online professional development modules anchored in research-based teaching principles and achievement-boosting mathematics materials. The modules provide interactive learning opportunities featuring real classroom video demonstrations, simulations, and scaffolded implementation. The professional development module development builds on the Math Pathways and Pitfalls instructional modules for elementary and middle school students developed with NSF support. The professional development provided through the use of these modules is web-based (rather than face-to-face), is provided in chunks during the school year and immediately applied in the classroom (rather than summer professional development and school year application), and explicitly models ways to apply key teaching principles to regular mathematics lessons (rather than expecting teachers to extract and apply principles spontaneously).

The project studies the impact of the modules on teaching practice with an experimental design that involves 20 treatment teachers and 20 control teachers. Data are gathered from teacher questionnaires, classroom observations, and post-observation interviews.

Researching the Expansion of K-5 Mathematics Specialist Program into Rural School Systems

This project addresses the challenge “How can promising innovations be successfully implemented, sustained, and scaled in schools and districts in a cost effective manner?” Project partners are researching the expansion of an established preparation and induction support program for K-5 mathematics specialists into rural school systems.

Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0918223
Funding Period: 
Tue, 09/01/2009 to Wed, 08/31/2011
Project Evaluator: 
Horizon Research Inc.

Linking Teacher Preparation to Student Learning in Mathematics and Science

This project examines relationships among pre-service teachers' developing understanding of learning in mathematics and science, the enactment of these understandings as they begin teaching. The objectives are (1) to inform the design of teacher preparation programs, and (2) to support the development of appropriate tools to assess the impact of teacher preparation program features on elementary- and middle-school student learning.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0554486
Funding Period: 
Thu, 06/01/2006 to Mon, 05/31/2010

Communities of Effective Practice: A Professional Stem Development Model for Teachers of American Indian Students

This project establishes and implements a professional development model with teachers of Native American students by creating a culturally relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics teacher in-service model. The project seeks to improve teacher preparation in science and mathematics for Native Americans by creating culturally relevant curriculum materials and providing teacher participants with structured professional development. The goal is to develop an in-service model that can be transported to other Native American nations and schools.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0554472
Funding Period: 
Mon, 05/01/2006 to Fri, 04/30/2010

Cyber-enabled Design Research to Enhance Teachers' Critical Thinking Using a Major Video Collection on Children's Mathematical Reasoning (Collaborative Research: Derry)

This project is demonstrating the use of cyber-enabled technologies to build and share adaptable interventions for pre- and in-service teacher growth that effectively make use of major video collections and have high promise of success at multiple sites. The cyber infrastructure being significantly extended through this project is supporting development and documentation of additional interventions for teacher professional development using this video collection, as well as other videos that might be added in the future.

Award Number: 
0822189
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/15/2008 to Fri, 08/31/2012
Full Description: 

The Video Mosaic Collaborative features  videos of student mathematics reasoning,  tools and services to encourage learning, research and practices fostering the development of student reasoning.  The VMC is a collection and service portal intended to support three primary audiences—teacher educators and their pre-service and in-service students, practicing teachers, and researchers.  The Video Mosaic Collaborative features a 22-year longitudinal study of students’ mathematical reasoning skills as they are developed from elementary through high school grades.  The VMC has been carefully designed to leverage the insights and strategies that can be mined in this extensive and unique video collection featuring observations, interventions and interviews with students solving mathematics problems in the classroom and in informal learning settings.  A careful metadata strategy was designed by the library and education research partners in collaboration to capture elements for searching that include forms of reasoning and heuristics, math strand, math problem, NCTM standards, grade level and type of educational environment.  Students and researchers are identified and can be individually tracked through the collection.  Transcripts, student work and dissertations resulting from the videos are linked in metadata.  Tools, such as the VMCAnalytic, a video annotation and analysis tool, are provided to enable registered participants to reuse the videos for instruction, study and research by creating personal clips and combining clips to accomplish research goals such as demonstrating changes in reasoning for an individual student studying probability over several video sessions.  Unlike other video annotation tool, the VMC analytic creates  XML-based independent resources that can be kept private in the researcher’s workspace but that can also be shared.  Shared analytics will be mined for keywords, which will retrieve the video(s) being analyzed, thus adding user tagging to the metadata for the videos.  The analytic resources created are not independently searched and displayed but will display as part of the context for the videos in the collection, along with student work, dissertations, and ultimately published articles, etc., all of which form the critical context of research and study surrounding each video.

Different search strategies, guidance in using videos and opportunities to consult or collaborate with others will be provided for each primary audience of the VMC.  The latest iteration of the portal, with collections and services available for immediate use, will be presented and demonstrated at the DRK12 Principal Investigators’ meeting poster session.  Visitors to the poster will be encouraged to search the portal and to create a small analytic, in a hands-on, interactive one on one demonstration.  We believe that the VMC makes a unique and significant contribution to the efforts of teacher educators, practicing teachers and researchers to discover insights and develop innovative strategies to support the development of student reasoning in mathematics education.

Tool Systems to Support Progress Toward Expert-like Teaching by Early Career Science Educators

The goal of this project is to accelerate the progress of early-career and pre-service science teachers from novice to expert-like pedagogical reasoning and practice by developing and studying a system of discourse tools. The tools are aimed at developing teachers' capabilities in shaping instruction around the most fundamental science ideas; scaffolding student thinking; and adapting instruction to diverse student populations by collecting and analyzing student data on their thinking levels.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0822016
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/15/2008 to Fri, 08/31/2012
Project Evaluator: 
Jim Minstrell

Building BLOCKS for Science: What Young Children Should Know and Be Able to Do When They Enter Kindergarten

Building Base Line Objectives for Children’s Knowledge Skills for Science (BLOCKS)is a 4-year project that integrates research and applied teaching to take a close look inside prekindergarten classrooms. The overall research project includes extensive classroom observation by teachers and researchers of children’s ability to learn science processes and content; intensive professional development and mentoring support for teachers to learn science; and multiple qualitative, as well as, quantitative assessment strategies.
Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0821988
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/01/2008 to Fri, 08/31/2012
Full Description: 

The Texas Regional Collaboratives, headquartered in the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Texas in Austin seeks to integrate research and applied education to take important tools inside pre-kindergarten classrooms to assess young students' knowledge and skills and test strategies for teaching core science concepts to young learners. The project will involve teachers from multiple backgrounds and will be conducted in a variety of settings with an emphasis on including classrooms where students are culturally and economically diverse. The mixed methods research will include data collection via case studies and technology-based assessment techniques.

Utilizing a robust research community of science and early childhood educators, science content specialists, researchers, and classroom teachers, the project will conduct four years of intense classroom observation and data collection in 25 pre-kindergarten classrooms with the intent of probing for answers to the following questions: (a) What should children know and be able to do when they enter kindergarten? (b)What core STEM ideas should be stressed in pre-kindergarten/kindergarten science learning activities? (c)What professional development practices best support the teaching of complex STEM concepts and processes to young learners?

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