- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557397
- First Name Mike
- Last Name Steele
- Discipline Other: Mathematics and Sciences
Craig Berg, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anja Blecking, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, email@example.com
Barbara Bales, University of Wisconsin System Administration, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Steele, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, email@example.com
The Milwaukee Master Teacher Project (MMTP) aims to develop teacher knowledge, practice, and leadership through the use of an innovative microcredentialing model. This project fosters leadership development for outstanding classroom teachers by developing their action research skills and supporting them in sharing their findings with colleagues and engaging those colleagues in action research investigations of their own.
The goals for the project are to develop teacher action research skills and leadership capacity through the earning of microcredentials focused on aspects of content and pedagogical knowledge in the classroom. In the first year of the project, all teachers earned badges on action research, fluency with CCSSM and NGSS standards, and modeling in mathematics and science. In Years 2-5, teachers will pursue microcredentials in areas of interest to them, and expand their leadership capacity by earning ‘Level II’ microcredentials by leading their school colleagues in collaborative action research investigations.
The MMTP is a collaboration between the UWM School of Education and the College of Letters and Sciences. Our design brings together the nature of mathematical and scientific knowledge for teaching (the nexus of content, pedagogy, curriculum, and student thinking) and the development of leadership content knowledge to empower teachers as learners and leaders. Master teachers develop their knowledge of an aspect of content or pedagogy, put that knowledge into practice in their classroom, and collect and analyze data on the impact of their intervention on teaching and learning. For areas in which they are interested in further engagement, they support colleagues in their school in learning about the same area and implementing similar interventions in their classroom, thus scaling up the small-scale learning to other teachers and students.
As we are at the end of Year 1 of the project, our outcomes focus on the extent to which the project supported all teachers in understanding the nature of sound action research and conducting action research interventions in their own classroom context. Teacher action research outcomes and microcredentials earned demonstrate evolving skills in collecting and analyzing data, as well as a developing awareness of epistemological stances and systematic biases that influence the action research process. Baseline data on the quality of teachers’ classroom practice has also been collected, to be compared to their practice in future years of the project.
Coming next is the process of scaling up teachers’ action research work to branch into their self-identified areas of interest, as well as providing teachers with opportunities to engage colleagues in action research and professional development.
The broader impacts of the project, which are just at the start of being realized, are the opportunities for these twenty-five mathematics and science teacher leaders to develop their practice and influence the practice of other teachers within Milwaukee Public Schools.