- Discrete Math Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute: July 13 – 17
DMPC offers districts on-going professional development through in-person workshops and follow-up sessions, regular on-site coaching, and support of collaborative teaching models. Below are components of a plan that can be modified to fit particular cases of implementation.
In-Person Workshops and follow-up sessions consist of a six-day summer institute and four to six mid-year follow-up sessions led by curriculum authors targeting:
- mathematical content and standards for mathematical practice
- curricular structure and design principles
- pedagogical approach
Our approach is designed for participants to construct a common image of both the intended curriculum and its associated pedagogical approach. These workshops are problem-based. Teachers spend substantial time doing mathematics together in small groups and engaging in whole class mathematical discourse. Later, participants reflect on how the mathematical discourse was facilitated by workshop leaders. Workshop leaders also provide presentations describing an overview of the structure and design principles of the curriculum.
Regular On-site Coaching: Together with teachers on special assignment and/or administrators, project staff conduct multi-day site visits. A site visit consists of sharing goals in advance; observing lessons and reflecting on instructional practice; discussing mathematical content and observed student thinking. We recommend two three-day long visits per semester. As a form of professional learning, we invite site administrators and/or district instructional coaches to join us at a subset of these visits and as a means of sustaining instructional practice.
Teachers as Collaborators: Lasting professional learning takes place in community. Therefore, DMPC seeks ways, beyond workshops and follow-up sessions, to collaborate on continued problems of teaching and learning associated with teaching this curriculum. We view teachers as collaborators and co-constructors of professional learning and DMPC curriculum.
Professional Learning: In the past, the centerpiece of our professional development has been to provide teachers structured opportunities to collaborate in real time by co-teaching the class during the pilot year, planning and reflecting together regularly. Clearly this may not be possible in every situation due to institutional constraints such as funding or master schedule. However, when a co-teach model is possible, project staff support this or other form(s) of collaborative teaching. During the pilot year, the program encourages teachers to work in pairs at each school site. With their administrators’ support, the pair share a common preparation period to plan and reflect. The program also encourages and supports online discussion and sharing of teaching and assessment materials.
DMPC Curriculum Development: As teachers implement existing curriculum, they provide feedback on lessons through reflection conversations with each other and with project staff during workshops and on-site coaching. This work includes helping to identify key problems, writing new tasks, sharing feedback on which tasks were more/less engaging for students, creating assessments and rubrics, etc. Creating this feedback contributes to teachers’ professional learning while also helping to refine the curriculum.