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MSP Conferences

Breakout Sessions - Tuesday, January 31, 2006

2006 MSP Learning Network Conference
Hilton Washington Hotel - Washington, DC
Tuesday, January 31; 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Description of Breakout Sessions

Margo Bartiromo

The Consortium for Achievement in Mathematics and Science (CAMS)
Lessons Learned about Content Coaching The Consortium for Achievement in Mathematics and Science (CAMS) aims to develop professional capacity, a well-qualified teaching force and a student-centered learning climate in every middle school mathematics and science classroom. In the context of this effort, one of several professional development strategies involves seven In-Class Support Coaches working with 350 teachers across four urban districts. This session will address successes, challenges and lessons learned related to: identifying and selecting Coaches; creating a common language and vision of teaching and learning; identifying and delivering professional development for Coaches; supporting Coaches in schools; and bridging communication between principals and Coaches to develop a mutual understanding of each other's work.
Rolf Blank

Longitudinal Study of the Effects of MSP-Supported Professional Development on Improving Mathematics and Science Instruction
Effects of MSP Professional Development on Improving Instruction in Math and Science The session will include findings from the CCSSO study team's longitudinal analysis of data from teachers in MSP professional development vs. comparable non-MSP teachers. The study examines two questions of importance to all leaders in science and math education:
  1. To what extent is the quality of the professional development supported by MSP activities consistent with research-based definitions of quality?
  2. What effects do teachers' professional development experiences have on instructional practices and content taught in math and science classes? Using the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum, data were collected from teachers at two points in time - in spring 2003 prior to the start of MSP professional development activities, and in spring 2005 following two years of MSP activities. Findings suggest there are significant effects of MSP-supported professional development.
David Brant
Susan Marshall

Faculty Outreach Collaborations Uniting Scientists, Students and Schools (FOCUS)
Recruiting the Next Generation of STEM Teachers from the STEM Majors in the Research I Universities Preparing adequate numbers of diverse and well-qualified STEM teachers depends on engaging the STEM students and STEM faculties of the large research universities. Only in the STEM departments of these universities is there a large enough pool of students with the requisite aptitudes to meet the need. This breakout session will describe how the UCI Comprehensive MSP is working to broaden the "future teacher highway" through recruitment and support of potential teachers from among UCI STEM undergraduates, active involvement of STEM faculties, and effective partnerships with the UCI Department of Education and the California Community Colleges. We will also describe the amplification of this effort at UCI to all of UC through the California Teach initiative.
Marilyn Carlson

Project Pathways
The Complexities of Developing Relevant Tools for Evaluating Teacher Quality This session will provide an overview of the complexities of developing reliable tools to assess the learning and STEM beliefs of secondary mathematics and science teachers. We will provide an overview of a framework and instrument that the Pathways Project is using to assess secondary mathematics and science teachers' understanding of the concept of function, a unifying concept of secondary mathematics and science. We will also provide an overview of our progress in developing a beliefs instrument to track shifts in teachers beliefs about the learning and teaching of mathematics and science.
Cindy Callard,
Cathy Carroll

Developing Everyone's Mathematics Content Knowledge
Supporting Teacher Leaders in Providing High-Quality Mathematics Professional Development We believe that teacher quality can be significantly improved through high quality professional development experiences. Thus, a primary component of the DEMC MSP project is to develop a cadre of teacher leaders who can provide high quality professional development in their communities. In this session we will share some key aspects of our teacher leader development program, highlighting how we have recently engaged a core group of leaders in considering the issues and challenges in designing and facilitating professional development through the Leadership Curriculum for Mathematics Professional Development (LCMPD), an NSF-funded project.
David Carraher

The Fulcrum Institute for Education in Science
Intellectual Challenges Science Teachers Face Science teachers face intellectual challenges on many fronts:
  1. Grasping the science
  2. Understanding the sense students make of science
  3. Learning how to scaffold student learning
  4. Drawing insights from research
In this interactive session, we illustrate these while considering a video clip of a first grade teacher holding a discussion with students about the forces. We examine the science, the students' views, and a recent discussion among Fulcrum teachers about the same episode. We make connections to research about science learning and highlight how the research at the Fulcrum Institute aims to support the intellectual growth of teachers.
Richard Ingersoll

University of Pennsylvania
Continuing the Conversation with Richard Ingersoll Richard has agreed to respond to questions people may have following his plenary presentation. He will have additional data to respond to particular questions about the mathematics/science teaching work force.
Claudia Khourey-Bowers

Stark County ESC Math-Science Partnership
Quality Science Lessons: Trends and Questions The purpose is to describe quality of 8th and 9th grade science lessons and to suggest influences on lesson quality including professional development, teacher certification, socioeconomic typology of schools, and curriculum. The teachers have had access to on-going professional development which integrated content, pedagogy, and instructional materials; instructional technology, and resource people to support effective science teaching in their classrooms. The potential influence of high-quality instruction on preparing students for science-related careers is also of interest.
Key questions:
What is the influence of sustained professional development on classroom practices?
What external factors affect the type and quality of classroom practices?
F. Joseph Merlino

Math Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia (MSPGP)
MSP Evolving Theories of Action - A Collaborative Discussion Joe will facilitate a discussion of MSP participants' theories of action about how to improve teacher quality and student achievement. For example, one theory line of action may be encouraging administrators to become instructional leaders. This leads to a supportive context that in turn diffuses opposition to reform efforts at the classroom level and fosters a school culture where teachers can acquire a deeper understanding of the curriculum and their student's developmental progress in learning it. Joe will reflect on how school-specific research data can test causal assumptions implicit in the different Theories of Action that are discussed.
Ruth Parker

Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership (GBMP) MSP
Keeping the Focus on Mathematics in Professional Development GBMP engages K-20 teachers together as learners of mathematics. An overview of lessons we are learning will be provided. Session participants will engage in a mathematics task that will provide a focus for a discussion of the following issues: (1) determining the 'big ideas' for mathematics PD content; (2) differentiation - meeting a wide range of learner needs; (3) developing mathematical understandings over time; (4) encouraging diverse ways of 'seeing', and looking for mathematical relationships; (5) building productive mathematics learning communities; and (6) promoting articulation K-20.
Regina Quinn,
George Ashline

The Vermont Mathematics Partnership (VMP).
From Teacher Content Knowledge to Student Learning:
How VMP Mathematicians and Educators are making a difference in Vermont
VMP mathematicians and educators collaborate to develop content-focused programs and resources for Vermont classroom teachers and mathematics teacher leaders. With the ultimate goal of mathematical success for all students, VMP development teams grapple with several questions: How to maintain intellectual rigor while addressing teachers' concerns about classroom applications? How to adapt materials designed for teacher leaders into formats that are intellectually engaging and relevant to non-specialists? How to balance between breadth and depth of content so that work with teachers ultimately results in improved student learning? Presenters will discuss successes and challenges, share exemplary materials, and provide time for discussion.
Diane Resek,
Ashanti Branch

REvitalizing ALgebra (REAL)
Activities from the REvitalizing ALgebra (REAL) Project to Increase Teacher Awareness of Cultural Differences Participants will experience some of the activities designed by the REvitalizing ALgebra (REAL) project to help teachers become more aware of cultural differences. The REAL activities are used in a class for 9 secondary school algebra teachers, 9 undergraduate s working in the secondary classrooms, 9 graduate students teaching remedial algebra, and 3 college faculty. All 30 participants are working to find ways to improve the teaching of algebra with the goal of increasing the success rates in algebra for African American and Hispanic students.
Pat O'Connell Ross, USED
Ken Gross, Univ. of Vermont
Geoffrey Phelps, Univ. of Michigan
Panel of State MSP Coordinators'
National Collaborations between NSF-MSPs and ED-MSPs This session will explore ways to establish dissemination mechanisms for the work of NSF's MSP projects, so that states and local practitioners around the country can benefit from their work.
Philip Sadler The Interaction Between the Science Content Knowledge of Teachers and Their Students The weak link in standards-based instruction and professional development is assessment that accurately gauges understanding of science concepts. Our efforts have focused on developing misconception-driven diagnostic tests of all of the NRC's K-12 standards in physical and earth and space sciences. Our large item bank allows us to aid your MSP in measuring student gains from instruction and teacher gains from MSP professional development. We will share our findings from a national sample of 15,000 students and their teachers, characterizing the attributes of effective teacher institutes and science curricula, as well as the relationship between teacher knowledge and student learning.
James P. Spillane,
Camille Rutherford

Distributed Leadership for Middle School Mathematics Education: Content Area Leadership Expertise in Practice
Studying Leadership and Management: A Distributed View Adopting a distributed perspective on leadership for instruction, the presenters examine the challenges involved in identifying and analyzing leadership practice related to mathematics. The presentation focuses on three instruments - a social network survey used to identify leadership and an Experienced Sampling Methodology (ESM) log and Daily Practice (DP) Log used to gather data on leaderhsip practice. Using data from pilot work presenters examine issues of validity and reliability in using these methods.
Dylan Wiliam,
Carolyn Wylie

The Consortium for Achievement in Mathematics and Science (CAMS)
Improving student learning: formative assessment We will present a research-based argument for improving student learning through an Assessment for Learning (AfL) approach. We will discuss a model of professional development in which AfL is the focus, and teacher learning communities is the primary way in which school-based, on-going, content focused professional development is nurtured. We will illustrate some AfL techniques that are applicable across subjects, along with specific tools for mathematics and science that are currently being piloted in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Finally we will discuss lessons learned in the last two years about teacher change, its difficulties and how to support it.

Job-Alike Sessions:
At the request of the community, a new type of session is being offered this year - job-alike discussions. These are not formal presentations; they are opportunities for people with similar roles in their MSPs to come together and talk about topics of common interest. Facilitators have been designated for these sessions to focus the conversations if necessary, and to ensure that everyone who wants to speak has an opportunity to do so.

The job-alike sessions being held include:
Session Title: PIs and Project Directors about Institutionalization and Sustainability
Session Facilitators: Gary Martin and Marilyn Struchens

Session Title: District and School Administrators about benefits and challenges to school/district involvement in MSPs
Session Facilitators: Mary Rapp

Session Title: Institute MSPs - challenges and opportunities
Session Facilitators: Herb Clemens