- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1556006
- First Name Anne
- Last Name Papakonstantinou
- Discipline Math
Richard Parr, Rice University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Judy Radigan, Rice University, email@example.com; Richard Tapia, Rice University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adem Ekmekci, Rice University, email@example.com
The Rice University Master Teaching Fellowship Program (RUMTF), through its core partners, has established an innovative program in the Houston ISD (HISD) that has identified and is developing and supporting 15 math leaders (MTFs). HISD is a large (7th in the U.S.; 1st in Texas) and diverse (more than 85% minority and 80% eligible for free/reduced lunch program) school district. Not having a sufficient number of well-prepared math leaders is a critical issue facing HISD. With the addition of 15 MTFs, HISD is significantly strengthening its capacity to prepare its students for the nation’s diverse STEM workforce by kindling in teachers and students a greater appreciation for math, increasing teacher and student understanding of math, and reducing the student achievement gap in math. MTFs are positively impacting their colleagues and pre-service and intern teachers with whom they interact. In the midpoint of the five-year project, we will share the progress our MTFs have made so far.
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?
The project utilizes several theoretical frameworks: teacher leadership (York-Barr & Duke, 2004); mathematical knowledge for teaching (Hill, Ball, & Schilling, 2008); effective professional development (Darling-Hammond, Hyler, & Gardner, 2017; Desimone, 2009; Garet et al., 2001); andragogy (adult learning; Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2014); and culturally-relevant instruction (Gutierrez, 2008; Ladson-Billings, 1994). The goals of the project will be achieved through the core activities listed above. In addition, constant interaction and effective communication with MTFs, among project’s key personnel, and with external evaluator ensure the implementation fidelity of the proposed activities and provide formative evaluation to make improvements as needed. Moreover, MTF maintain portfolios that document all MTF coursework and leadership experiences and are closely monitored by project directors to ensure MTFs’ progress toward fulfilling their personal goals.
In this poster presentation, we will share the results about MTFs’ progress in the second and a half year of their involvement in the project. In other words, what progress are MTFs demonstrating towards their personal goals and project objectives? Most of the information that evaluates their progress comes from their portfolios. This includes field and reflection notes associated with daily MTF activities, products they develop, minutes and agendas of meetings, professional development programs, conference presentations that they lead, proposals and presentation notes and handouts for all presentations, and an annually updated curriculum vitae. In addition, focus group results, pre- to midpoint-survey results (AVID leadership survey; diversity dispositions; and beliefs about teaching and learning, and community connection) and results from pre- to midpoint-Learning Mathematics for Teaching Project (LMT) scales for mathematical knowledge for teaching will be also shared.
Not having a sufficient number of well-prepared math leaders with sound content knowledge and effective pedagogical, leadership, adult education, and math advocacy skills is a critical issue facing the greater-Houston area. With the addition of 15 MTFs, HISD is significantly strengthening its capacity to prepare its students for the nation’s diverse STEM workforce by kindling in teachers and students a greater appreciation for math. MTFs are also interacting with other math teachers through their campus, district, and non-district activities and positively affecting pre-service and intern teachers with whom they interact. In addition to direct impact on their own students and colleagues, students of their colleagues are indirectly impacted and future students of teacher candidates will be also indirectly impacted. As a result, RUMTF is having and will continue to have a broad impact on math instruction and learning and, subsequently, on the future growth of the Houston economy.