- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240046
- First Name Karen
- Last Name Anderson
- Discipline Math
Jenna Rapoza, Stonehill College, email@example.com
Rachel Vieira, Stonehill College, firstname.lastname@example.org
Problems Addressed: (1) Future teachers of mathematics have limited field experiences focused specifically on mathematics instruction, particularly in Early Childhood and Elementary grades. (2)
There is an absence of clear connections between the content and pedagogy espoused in on-campus coursework and the instructional practices PSTs observe and are engaged in during field placements. (3) PSTs have limited supervised field experiences where they experience firsthand the research-backed instructional practices paramount of high quality mathematics education (e.g., open-ended tasks, teaching through problem solving, instructional routines rooted in the standards for mathematical practice).
This poster reports on an innovative early field-experience – the NUMB3RS Project – introduced in the spring of 2014 as one element of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at Stonehill College.
NUMB3RS Projects were collaboratively designed by a multi-disciplinary team of mathematics and education faculty and College administrators, together with faculty and administrators from our partner districts and personnel from our non-profit partners. Our primary goals were to: (1) encourage our PSTs to question the status quo (more traditional methods of teaching mathematics typically seen in many K-12 classrooms) by providing clear connections between the content and pedagogy espoused in on-campus coursework and the instructional practices PSTs experience in field-experience, (2) provide PSTs with multiple opportunities to design and implement instructional routines rooted in the standards for mathematical practice, and (3) provide targeted support to our community partners.
Purposefully merging elements from both pre-practicum and service-learning, NUMB3RS Projects were designed to supplement the field-experience sequence in place at the College, and to include the following design elements:
* stand-alone experiences: Instead of being associated with a course, NUMB3RS Projects were designed to connect to multiple courses / teacher education program overall
* available to all PSTs (regardless of prior coursework, field-experiences, or year in program) through an application process
* multi-week experiences: Spanning on average 9 weeks, points of contact included 5-6 site visits plus weekly meetings for planning and refection.
* collaborative: PSTs worked in teams (of between 2 and 4 PSTs) alongside a faculty mentor(s)
* utilized an iterative design process: PSTs were simultaneously reflecting upon the past lessons, preparing for the current week and planning for future site-visits
* relied on collaborative relationships with our community partners
As demonstrated through longitudinal data (weekly reflections, feedback from our external reviewer), participation in NUMB3RS Project not only exposed our PSTs to best practices in mathematics, involvement also enabled PSTs to:
* see connections between negative views towards mathematics and how they perceive mathematics being taught. PSTs report seeing themselves as change agents, capable of altering views by changing the way K-12 mathematics is taught.
* develop essential learning outcomes (Kuh, 2008). In relation to teamwork, PSTs views on collaboration are dependent on prior experience, with first years more reliant on collaboration as a source of ideas. In relation to communication, PSTs views were broadened beyond that of written and oral communication. In relation to connections PSTs made connections to content/concepts from courses in both their liberal arts or science and education majors, to their education program overall, or to literature in the field.
Dissemination of our results have already begun in earnest. In addition to a presentation at the Massachusetts Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Conference in 2015, two manuscripts are under review in peer-reviewed journals.