- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1556006
- First Name Anne
- Last Name Papakonstantinou
- Discipline Math
Richard Tapia, Rice University, email@example.com; Richard Parr, Rice University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Judy Radigan, Rice University, email@example.com; Adem Ekmekci, Rice University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adem Ekmekci, Rice University, email@example.com; Patricia McMorris, Houston Independent School District, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accumulating evidence suggests that K-12 school-based leadership provided by effective teacher leaders can be one of the most successful forms of support to develop and sustain highly qualified teachers in the profession and to positively affect student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 1998; Elmore, 2002; Mimbs, 2002; Murray-Ward, Huetinck, & Munshin, 1998). Teacher leadership may be broadly defined as the active involvement of teachers in the improvement of school culture and instruction and ultimately student learning through their participation in school-wide decision-making, and promotion of their teaching and learning expertise (York-Barr & Duke, 2004). More specifically, consistent with York-Barr and Duke’s (2004) conceptual framework of teacher leadership, the overarching dimensions of teacher leadership practices that have been identified are: coordination/management, district/school curriculum selection and development, professional development of teacher peers, participation in school improvement efforts, parent and community involvement, professional contributions, and building partnerships with pre-service teacher education programs. This session will focus specifically on the aspects of teacher leadership development related to participation in school improvement efforts, parent and community involvement, and professional contributions.
The overarching goal of the RUMTF program is to develop exceptional secondary mathematics teachers into leaders who are deeply grounded in sound mathematical content and research-based pedagogical, leadership, adult education, and mathematics advocacy skills. The following research questions guide the RUMTF program: 1. To what extent do MTFs have a strong knowledge base in both university-level and secondary mathematics and a solid understanding of the connection between the two? 2. To what extent do MTFs develop a deep understanding of and skills to implement effective precollege mathematics curriculum, instruction, and assessment? 3. How do MTF’s leadership, mentoring, and adult education skills change over time? 4. To what extent do MTFs develop a robust understanding of equity and diversity issues in STEM, in particular mathematics? 5. Do MTFs develop a repertoire of research-based methods for motivating and supporting all students to persist and achieve in mathematics with a special focus on motivating URMs?
To meet the overarching goal and specific objectives of the program, Master Teacher Fellows (MTFs) will participate in customized professional learning experiences that include university graduate-level coursework, AVID Path trainings and personalized leadership experiences as outlined below. University Graduate-level Coursework Contemporary Topics in Secondary Mathematics: MTFs will be expected to complete two four-hour Rice University graduate courses in Contemporary Topics in Secondary Mathematics (Summers 1 and 2). These two courses under NSCI 590: Contemporary Topics in Secondary Mathematics will include components on advanced mathematics content, secondary mathematics pedagogy, leadership skills, and diversity and equity issues in STEM. All coursework will be designed to prepare MTFs for their work with other teachers. The advanced mathematics content will be centered on the major strands of university–level mathematics identified by The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) as most critical for secondary mathematics teachers: (1) Algebra and Number Theory; (2) Geometry and Trigonometry; (3) Functions and Analysis; (4) Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability; and (5) Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science (CBMS, 2001). Attention will be given to helping MTFs think more deeply about mathematics and specifically about the connections between university–level and secondary mathematics. To be effective mathematics leaders, it is crucial for MTFs to develop a deep understanding of effective precollege mathematics curriculum, instruction, and assessment as proposed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards (1989, 1991, 1995, 2000). The pedagogical component of these courses will accomplish this through the use of curricular units developed by Papakonstantinou, Parr, and Tapia, along with other resources. MTFs will participate in active, student-centered, inquiry-based learning experiences using manipulatives and the latest technologies in a collaborative setting and then critically discuss how to elicit campus-wide adoption of such mathematics instruction at their campuses. Coursework will focus on mathematical knowledge, pedagogical skills, and current research in mathematics education. Courses will also emphasize problem-solving and motivational strategies, assessment, differentiated instruction, and questioning techniques to meet the needs of all learners. It is also vital that MTFs develop their leadership and adult education skills. MTFs will develop these skills through role-playing, readings, discussions and the study of current research in mathematics education. Discussion topics among MTFs will include how to reduce teacher attrition and how to mentor novice teachers at their respective schools. The study of current research in mathematics leadership will hone MTFs’ ability to share the mathematics content and pedagogical techniques they have learned with other teachers at their respective schools. MTFs will gain experience in developing meaningful professional learning experiences for teachers at their schools and across the district. A key factor in the development of MTFs will be their development as advocates for all students’ mathematical excellence. HISD is fortunate to have a racially and ethnically diverse student body. Consequently, RU-MTF has potential for great impact in this area. MTFs will participate in lectures, seminars, and university student panels organized and facilitated by Co-PI Tapia, that focus on how to motivate and support more students, particularly URMs and women, to enter educational programs to prepare for STEM careers. AVID Path Trainings MTFs will be expected to complete four AVID Path Trainings (Summers 1 and 2). These four strands will be customized for the 16 MTFs, will complement the mathematics learned in the two Rice University graduate courses (Contemporary Topics in Secondary Mathematics), and will support the diversity and equity focus of Co-PI Tapia’s intervention during the two graduate courses. Mathematics I: This strand will be designed for mathematics teachers new to AVID concepts and methodologies and will focus on strategies outlined in AVID’s The Write Path I Mathematics Teacher Guide which emphasizes the use of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading (WICOR) as tools for learning in the mathematics classroom. Cornell notes, Philosophical Chairs discussions, and effective collaborative strategies will be discussed. Mathematics 2: This strand will follow Mathematics I and will introduce additional vocabulary and WICOR strategies as well as deepen participants’ understanding of AVID methodologies practiced in Mathematics I. The focus will be on ensuring that all students gain access to rigorous instruction through dynamic and engaging activities. Mathematics 2 is organized to reinforce and strengthen vertical team articulation. Culturally Relevant Teaching: Transforming Educators (CRT-E): This strand was designed for experienced AVID administrators, coordinators, AVID elective teachers, and site team members who are ready to work with their sites to conduct self-examinations and address issues of race, class, gender, and accountability, and will be offered to MTFs. The strand will provide a framework of effective methodologies that validate the culture of all students in the classroom and on the campus. These strategies will enhance the site’s curriculum, and make relevant learning connections to increase subject-matter comprehension. Culturally Relevant Teaching: Transforming Students (CRT-S): This strand will provide hands-on experiences with lessons to take back to the classrooms, schools, and districts that help bridge the home and school cultures of students. Within classrooms, cultivating humanity and celebrating diversity require attention both to individual and collective development. Participants will engage in critical conversations about race, gender, class, and sexual orientation and will learn how to engage students in critical conversations. Academic-year Meetings MTFs will attend two progress meetings every year: one to be held at the beginning of that academic year to discuss the goals and expectations for the upcoming academic year and another to be held at the end of the academic year to discuss progress and share experiences. These meetings will allow MTFs to further cultivate the community of practice developed during the first two summers and allow them to receive the support necessary to fulfill their teaching commitment and continue their development as leaders on their campuses. Meetings will be customized to focus on the specific needs of MTFs that are identified through the course of the program. Virtual meetings with either the entire group of identified subgroups of MTFs will also be scheduled as necessary to meet more specific needs of MTFs. Personalized Leadership Experiences School-based and District-level Leadership Activities: MTFs will be expected to complete leadership activities in their schools, in HISD, and at Rice University and to extend their school responsibilities in Years 1-5. Leadership activities will include: 1. demonstrate teaching for other mathematics teachers including new AVID teachers; 2. plan and co-teach with mathematics teachers at their schools; 3. lead study groups or seminars with teachers about mathematics concepts or instructional strategies as well as seminars for new AVID teachers on how to incorporate AVID teaching strategies in the classroom; 4. work with students, teachers, mathematics department chairs, school administrators, and guidance counselors to: enhance students’ self-efficacy for and interest in mathematics, increase students’ likelihood of taking advanced mathematics courses, and promote higher mathematics achievement for all students; 5. observe classes of mathematics teachers to offer feedback and suggestions on improving instruction; 6. provide school administrators with support in understanding what effective instruction should look like in today’s mathematics classrooms; 7. serve as their campus or district mathematics advocates; 8. support and collaborate with the other MTFs; 9. participate in planning school or district mathematics initiatives as well as develop curriculum and writing assessment items; 10. define and develop interventions for students; and 11. interact with parents and their school communities. Each MTF will maintain an on-going portfolio that documents all MTF coursework and leadership experiences and will include detailed documentation that relates to activities he/she develops, enacts and participates in as an MTF. This includes field and reflection notes associated with daily MTF activities, products he/she develops, minutes and agendas of meetings, professional development programs, or conference presentations that he/she leads, proposals and presentation notes and handouts for all presentations, and an annually updated curriculum vitae. The leadership team will regularly review MTFs’ portfolios to help ensure MTFs’ progress toward fulfilling their personal goals. Professional Development Leadership Activities: In addition to planning and co-teaching with campus colleagues, MTFs will be expected to help plan and co-teach summer professional development courses, facilitated by RUSMP, in Years 3, 4, and 5. Building upon the knowledge gained through their coursework during the first two years of the grant and their experiences from working with teachers at their schools, MTFs will design and facilitate professional development courses and workshops that will be made available to mathematics teachers throughout HISD. These courses will focus on specific mathematics concepts and pedagogical strategies based on the current needs of teachers in the district. Rice University Teacher Education Program Leadership Activities: MTFs will be expected to mentor pre-service and intern mathematics teachers in the Rice University Teacher Education Program in Years 3-5; assist in the mathematics methods classes in Years 3-5; be observed by pre-service and intern teachers in Years 1-5; and demonstrate exemplary lessons at the annual Life in Schools conference, a forum for the Rice University community to explore important topics in American education, in Years 2-5. MTFs will be available for both virtual and face-to-face meetings with pre-service and intern mathematics teachers.
The Rice University Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship Program objectives are to develop MTFs who have 1. a strong knowledge base in both university-level and secondary mathematics and a solid understanding of the connection between the two; 2. a deep understanding of and skills to implement effective precollege mathematics curriculum, instruction, and assessment; 3. exceptional leadership, mentoring, and adult education skills; 4. a robust understanding of equity and diversity issues in STEM, in particular mathematics; and 5. a repertoire of research-based methods for motivating and supporting all students to persist and achieve in mathematics with a special focus on motivating URMs.
Rice University Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship Program, through its core partners, will establish an innovative program in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) that will identify, develop, and support 16 mathematics leaders (MTFs) whose selection will reflect the ethnic diversity of the teaching force of the district. Not having a sufficient number of well-prepared mathematics leaders with sound content knowledge and effective pedagogical, leadership and adult education, and mathematics advocacy skills is a critical issue facing the greater-Houston area and in particular HISD. With the addition of 16 MTFs, HISD will significantly strengthen its capacity to prepare its students for the nation’s diverse STEM workforce by kindling in teachers and students a greater appreciation for mathematics, increasing teacher and student understanding of mathematics, and reducing the student achievement gap in mathematics. Moreover, in addition to directly impacting their own students and teachers at their schools, MTFs will positively impact pre-service teachers and intern teachers with whom they will interact. These future teachers will, in turn, positively impact their own students. As a result, RU-MTF will have a broad impact on mathematics instruction and learning and, subsequently, on the future growth of the Houston economy. Rice University’s strong track record of collaborating with partner school districts to create innovative programs that the school districts sustain and institutionalize will ensure the broader and sustained impact of RU-MTF. The leadership team will disseminate project findings at state and national conferences and submit papers of research findings to journals and other publications.