Learning Mathematics for Teaching: Results from California's Mathematics Professional Development Institutes
Heather C. Hill, Deborah Loewenberg Ball
Widespread agreement exists that U.S. teachers need improved mathematics knowledge for teaching. Over the past decade, policymakers have funded a range of professional development efforts designed to address this need. However, there has been little success in determining whether and when teachers develop mathematical knowledge from professional development, and if so, what features of professional development contribute to such teacher learning. This was due, in part, to a lack of measures of teachers’ content knowledge for teaching mathematics. This article attempts to fill these gaps. In it we describe an effort to evaluate California's Mathematics Professional Development Institutes (MPDIs) using novel measures of knowledge for teaching mathematics. Our analyses showed that teachers participating in the MPDIs improved their performance on these measures during the extended summer workshop portion of their experience. This analysis also suggests that program length as measured in days in the summer workshop and workshop focus on mathematical analysis, reasoning, and communication predicted teachers' learning.
Teachers' Orientations Toward Mathematics Curriculum Materials: Implications for Teacher Learning
Janine T. Remillard, Martha B. Bryans
This study was prompted by the current availability of newly designed mathematics curriculum materials for elementary teachers. Seeking to understand the role that reform-oriented curricula might play in supporting teacher learning, we studied the ways in which 8 teachers in the same school used one such curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (TERC, 1998). Findings revealed that teachers had orientations toward using curriculum materials that influenced the way they used them regardless of whether they agree with the mathematical vision within the materials. As a result, different uses of the curriculum led to different opportunities for student and teacher learning. Inexperienced teachers were most likely to take a piloting stance toward the curriculum and engage all of its resources fully. Findings suggest that reform efforts might include assisting teachers in examining unfamiliar curriculum resources and developing new approaches to using these materials.