This project designs materials and an accompanying support system to enable the development of expertise in the teaching of mathematics at the elementary level. The project has four main components: online professional development modules; practice-based assessments; resources for facilitators; and web-based technologies to deliver module content to diverse settings. Three modules are being developed and focus on fractions, reasoning and explanation, and geometry. Each module is organized into ten 1.5 hour sessions.
Facilitating Formative Feedback: Using Simulations to Impact the Capability of Novice Mathematics Teachers
This project explores the ways in which thoughtfully designed simulations can provide preservice teachers with formative assessment opportunities that serve as a complement to, or alternative to as needed, feedback derived from field placement contexts. A set of simulations will be designed with a focus on eliciting and interpreting student thinking. These simulations will be used with preservice teachers in three elementary teacher preparation programs of varying size and demographics.
The PI of this project argues cogently that assessment of pre-service teacher preparedness to teach is based on a flawed model. The goal then is to use a simulation model from other professional arenas: the training of doctors, nurses, etc., to offer new insights and control for the many variables that come to play when conducting evaluations in practice.
This project addresses the fundamental challenge of how to support teachers to improve their practice. The approach uses a "live mathematics classroom" as a common text for working on practice, where participants are not only watching and discussing but are engaged in developing and learning practice. The project will generate new knowledge regarding ways in which elementary teachers of mathematics can be supported to learn effective teaching practice.
Preparing Mentors to Support Novices in Eliciting Student Thinking during Mathematics Discussions: Developing and Testing a Simulation-based PD Program
This project will design and study an online, portable mentor teacher professional development (PD) program that target mentors’ teaching and feedback skills in elementary mathematics. The project aims to (1) promote educator development by generating new knowledge about how to help mentors support teacher candidate learning; (2) broaden participation in mathematics by historically marginalized and minoritized youth, who are far more likely than their peers to be taught by a first year teacher; and (3) enhance infrastructure for research and education by generating PD materials and measures that can be used and studied at scale.
Ensuring that beginning teachers are "classroom-ready" requires assessments that efficiently and validly evaluate proficiency in teaching. This project explores assessments involving simulated students as a way to assess teaching practice, which could provide an important complement, or alternative, to directly assessing teaching practice in classrooms.