Mathematics and Science for a Change: How to Design, Implement, and Sustain High-Quality Professional Development

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Overview


Take advantage of what this volume offers. You will be in a better position to make well-informed decisions because you will be able to see the full sweep of what constitutes quality professional development for mathematics and science teachers.
- Barbara Miller
Education Development Center, Inc.

You've decided it's time for something different. A new way to teach mathematics and science that supports higher achievement in all students. And that means rethinking how you provide teacher professional development. Sounds like a tough task, but you've got a guide to doing it right. Mathematics and Science for a Change collects the wisdom of successful initiatives into one concise guide to making successful change.

Mathematics and Science for a Changedescribes the lessons learned by effective National Science Foundation - funded Local Systemic Change programs. Iris Weiss and Joan Pasley support your initiative with key practices drawn from a careful examination of more than ten years of case histories and data. With their observations, you'll:

  • lay the groundwork for change by diagnosing your building or district needs and establishing a vision for high-quality mathematics and science instruction that is consistent with national standards
  • design professional development that achieves your goals by deepening teacher content knowledge, modeling best-practice instruction, and encouraging more productive assessments
  • launch and sustain your professional development model by identifying, preparing, and supporting PD providers then uncovering and nurturing leadership among your staff
  • bolster your improvement effort by enlisting key school or district leaders, partnering with the mathematics and science community outside your system, and engaging the support of parents.

Weiss and Pasley fill Mathematics and Science for a Change with on-the-ground advice and the specific strategies of top initiatives around the country. Everything in their book helps you smoothly meet the most important objective of any change program: helping every student learn mathematics and science better.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325026183
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 3/5/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Iris R. Weiss is coeditor of the Heinemann title Mathematics and Science for a Change. She is President of Horizon Research, Inc. She has been involved in research and evaluation in mathematics and science education for many years, including coordinating the cross-site evaluation of the Local Systemic Change Initiative funded by the National Science Foundation.

Joan D. Pasley is coeditor of the Heinemann title Mathematics and Science for a Change. She is Senior Research Associate at Horizon Research, Inc. She has been involved in research and evaluation in mathematics and science education for many years, including coordinating the cross-site evaluation of the Local Systemic Change Initiative funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

Part I The Big Picture: Vision, Goals, and Working with Teachers 1

Chapter 1 Vision and Goal Setting 3

Develop a Shared Vision with Top Administration Support 3

Remember That the Ultimate Goal of Professional Development Is to Improve Student Learning 4

Build a Flexible Professional Development Plan 6

Chapter 2 Professional Development: Setting the Stage 9

Build a Persuasive Case for Professional Development 9

Be Responsive Not Only to Teachers Who Are Willing to Change, but Also to Those Who Are Resistant 11

Make it Convenient for Teachers to Participate in Professional Development 12

Part 1 Further Readings 13

Part II Designing Professional Development 15

Chapter 3 Strategic Design 16

Tailor Professional Development to Fit the School Community's Needs and Advance Program Goals 16

Address Teachers' Diverse Backgrounds and Needs 18

Collect Data on Progress to Improve Program Quality 20

Chapter 4 Workshops and Institutes: Designing Intensive Professional Development 23

Build a Collegial Atmosphere of Trust, Mutual Respect, and Openness to Ideas 23

Connect Professional Development to the Classroom 25

Balance Emphasis on Content, Pedagogy, and Instructional Materials 27

Use Instructional Materials as a Springboard for Professional Development, but Keep the Focus on Learning Goals Rather Than Activities 28

Model and Explain Quality Instructional Practices 30

Focus on Content 32

Help Teachers Learn to Monitor Student Understanding Through Formative Assessment 34

Address Equity Issues and Raise Teacher Expectations of High-Level Mathematics and Science Achievement forAll Students 36

Chapter 5 Designing Site-Based, Job-Embedded Professional Development 39

Create a Culture of Professional Learning at the School 40

Empower Teachers Through Networks and Learning Communities 40

Provide Coaching and Mentoring Services for Individualized Teacher Support 42

Ensure the Quality of Site-Based, Job-Embedded Professional Development 43

Part 2 Further Readings 44

Part III Preparing Professional Development Providers 47

Chapter 6 Staffing Workshops and Institutes 48

Identify Tasks before Specifying Knowledge and Skills Required of Professional Development Providers 48

When Creating Teams, Match Skills and Expertise of Providers 49

Professional Development Providers Need a Shared Vision of High-Quality Mathematics and Science Instruction 50

Ensure That the Professional Development Team Has Adequate Mathematics and Science Content Knowledge 52

Build in Opportunities for Providers to Gain Expertise in Pedagogy 54

Provide Ongoing Support for Professional Development Providers 55

Chapter 7 Staffing On-Site Professional Development 57

Establish Multiple Levels of Teacher Leadership 57

Be Strategic in Recruiting Teacher Leaders from Existing Networks 59

Provide Initial Guidelines for Teacher Leaders, but Be Prepared for the Work to Evolve over Time 60

Prepare Teacher Leaders to Work with Adult Learners 61

Expect to Take Years, Rather Than Months, to Fully Prepare Teacher Leaders 62

Offer Incentives and Support to Encourage Potential Teacher Leaders 63

Implement an Ongoing Recruitment Process to Respond to Both Staff Turnover and Scale-up Demands 63

In Choosing Teacher Leaders, Consider a Range of Skills, Expertise, and Viewpoints 64

Part 3 Further Readings 65

Part IV Building a Supportive System 67

Chapter 8 Measuring and Reporting Progress 68

Share Responsibility for Student Learning System-Wide 68

Address Teachers' Accountability Concerns 70

Examine State and District Assessments and Address Any Mismatches with the Program Vision of High-Quality Mathematics and Science Education 72

Gather Data and Communicate Results for a Broad Range of Outcomes 73

Chapter 9 Building and Sustaining Support for Mathematics and Science Education Improvement 77

Define Roles and Expectations of District and School Administrators 77

Engage Principals Early and Often 79

Build Networks Between and Among Levels of Administration 80

Plan for Administrator Turnover 82

Build Support Among Parents 83

Tap into the Mathematics and Science Community 84

Pursue District Policies That Support High-Quality Mathematics and Science Instruction 85

Connect Professional Development with School and District Priorities 86

Developing Teacher Leadership Is the Key to Sustainability 87

The Bottom Line 89

Part 4 Further Readings 89

References 91

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