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Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations - Mathematics Specialist


The Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition has published a special issue of the Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations dedicated to the Mathematics Specialist role and issues of implementation of Specialist programs. The articles contained in the special issue address the following topics:

  • Why a Specialist? What in the present condition of elementary mathematics education makes the Specialist role particularly timely? What does research tell us about the Specialist role, about its effectiveness as a school-based strategy?

  • What are examples from the field (schools and districts) where the Specialist role (or Coach or Lead Teacher) has been integrated into a district's mathematics program? What does this work look like? What has worked? What are the lessons learned? What particular skill sets to Specialists bring to their work?

  • What do we know about the content and pedagogical preparation for a Specialist's role? How can the work of teaching mathematics be redistributed to bring authority to the Specialist's role? How does this model help to integrate a different kind of professional development into the work of schools?

  • What can we learn from Specialists in other disciplines? Can professional development in reading help inform the Mathematics Specialist role?

  • What roles can be played by institutions of higher education and state departments of education in preparing Specialists? What is being done? What do those models look like?

The special issue also includes the definition of a Mathematics Specialist as defined by the Virginia MSP partnership and reports on preliminary work of the partnership.

The special issue was developed with support from ExxonMobil Foundation, the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Virginia Council for Mathematics Supervision.