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Building and Sustaining a Professional Learning Community: Joining in with Teachers to Improve Mathematics Teaching and Learning

Abstract

"The project focused on four strands of support for professional development: Technology, Algebraic Thinking, Reflecting on Practice, and Project-Based Learning (PBL). We studied the effect of implementing these support structures with the teachers as we examined how the professional development facilitated the transition for teachers to make both their classrooms and schools sites for inquiry, and form and sustain professional learning and inquiry communities. A number of quantitative and qualitative measures were used throughout the three years of the project to gather evidence about teachers' growth in each strand. Including measures of teachers' knowledge of content and pedagogy, indicators of the quality of the PBL units they developed, and indicators of the level of reflection in which teachers engaged. While findings revealed that teachers experienced growth in each of the strands targeted by the project, we paint a picture of potential challenges and successes associated with joining with schoolteachers to create and sustain a professional learning and inquiry community."

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