Mathematics Immersion for Secondary Teachers at Scale (Collaborative Research: Cuoco)

The goal of this project will be to provide the field with a cost-effective model for intense content-based professional development in ways that have not been possible before, except through costly face-to-face models, by creating and testing design principles for blended online courses. Team members will design, implement, and research the effects of a professional development immersion experience in mathematics for practicing secondary teachers (grades 7-12).

Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1719555
Funding Period: 
July 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020
Full Description: 

Current reforms in mathematics place new demands on teachers, changing the focus of the mathematics they teach focusing on what it means to do mathematics, not just learn facts and methods that are the results of the work of others. Teachers need strong professional development to meet these new demands. The goal of this project will be to provide the field with a cost-effective model for intense content-based professional development in ways that have not been possible before, except through costly face-to-face models, by creating and testing design principles for blended online courses. Team members will design, implement, and research the effects of a professional development immersion experience in mathematics for practicing secondary teachers (grades 7-12). The project will provide mathematics immersion experience to over 300 teachers at 56 sites across the country. Over the course of two years, each of 14 instructors will work with four geographically separated groups of 4-7 teachers, engaging them in mathematics as learners and facilitating conversations that connect the experience to their teaching and professional work. The project will provide the field a concrete model for modern practice-based mathematics immersion, conducted at scale. The model has the potential to broaden participation in immersive professional development experiences, offering opportunities to greater numbers of teachers and expanding the diversity of school contexts affected. The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

The research questions will investigate fidelity of course implementation and differences in enactment. RQ1. How well can instructors enact the blended course design with fidelity and create immersion experiences in mathematics for participating teachers? RQ2.What variations exist among instructors' enactment of the courses? What explains differences in enactment, and how do they relate to teachers' experiences in the courses? RQ3. What is the impact of the professional development on teachers' (a) mathematical habits of mind, (b) beliefs about the nature of mathematics and mathematics teaching, and (c) engagement in their professional mathematics community? RQ4. What is the impact of the professional development on teachers' instructional practices, particularly on the types of investigative mathematics learning experiences that teachers provide for students? The project will use established measures to research the effects of these experiences on teachers' content knowledge, mathematical habits of mind, beliefs about mathematics, involvement in a professional community, and teaching practices. The first two research questions will be answered through qualitative data analysis of session enactment logs, video-recorded course sessions, and interviews. The second two research questions will be addressed through repeated measures analysis, with all teachers assessed three times over the course of the project. For research question 3, the outcome measures will be total and scale scores of the measures of teachers' knowledge, preparedness to teach mathematics, and beliefs. Additionally, qualitative analysis of interview data will explore trends in the frequency and nature of teachers' engagement over time. For research question 4, the outcome measures will be teaching practices with qualitative analysis of observations and interviews.

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