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Perspectives on Deepening Teachers' Mathematics Content Knowledge: The Case of the Indiana University-Indiana Mathematics Initiative Partnership

Abstract

"Through the Indiana University-Indiana Mathematics Initiative (IMI) Partnership, Indiana University collaborated with nine school districts from across Indiana to provide professional development for teachers of mathematics. In the elementary grades, the goal of the project was to support the implementation of a curriculum program chosen by all partner districts, Everyday Mathematics. In the early years of the project, IMI professional development focused on the mathematics content of the curriculum which was closely aligned with the Indiana Academic Standards. In cross-district, grade-level group meetings in the summer and three to four times during the academic year, teachers engaged in key activities from the materials to experience the mathematics content development for their grade level as learners, and then planned together for classroom implementation.

After this first year of support, a subset of teachers from each grade level in each district was invited to join the IMI Select Cadre. Select Cadre teachers continued their professional development in subsequent years with emphases on content development across grade levels, along with leadership training to provide professional development and mentoring support for other teachers. Select Cadre teachers continued to attend annual summer workshops, as well as three to four meetings during each school year. Teachers also engaged in online reflections, through weekly Learning Logs the first year and, for the Select Cadre teachers, through monthly Assessment Logs in subsequent years. In their Learning Log entries, teachers reflected on their progress and challenges implementing the Everyday Mathematics curriculum, evidence of their students' learning, and their own mathematical insights. Assessment Log entries were tied to each unit taught. Teachers administered both designated common assessment items and assessment tasks of their own choosing to document, interpret, and report their students' progress with the mathematics learning goals of each unit and continued to reflect in writing on their own mathematical insights. Professional development providers read and responded to each Learning Log and Assessment Log entry as a means of ongoing support for teachers' learning."

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