- Year 2018
- 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 that has identified, and has been developing and supporting 15 math leaders (MTFs). HISD is a very large (7th in the U.S.; 1st in Texas) and very diverse (more than 85% minority and 75% FRLP) 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 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. MTFs will positively impact their colleagues and pre-service and intern teachers with whom they interact. Nearing the end of second year of the projects, we will share the progress our MTFs have made so far.
In this presentation we would like to share the progress of our MTFs have made so far. RUMTF Project Goals: 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 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. To meet the overarching goal and specific objectives of the program, MTFs are participating in customized professional learning experiences that include university graduate-level coursework, AVID Path (non-profit program partner) trainings and personalized leadership experiences. Leadership activities 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. In addition to planning and co-teaching with campus colleagues, MTFs will be expected to help plan and co-teach summer professional development courses. 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. MTFs will be expected to mentor pre-service and intern mathematics teachers in the Rice University Teacher Education Program; assist in the mathematics methods classes; be observed by pre-service and intern teachers; 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. MTFs will be available for both virtual and face-to-face meetings with pre-service and intern mathematics teachers.
The project utilizes several theoretical frameworks: teacher leadership (York-Barr & Duke, 2004); mathematical knowledge for teaching (Hill, Ball, & Schilling, 2008); effective professional development (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 not only the implementation fidelity of the proposed activities and provide formative evaluation to make improvements as needed. Moreover, MTFs portfolios that documents all MTF coursework and leadership experiences and are closely monitored by project directors ensure MTFs’ progress toward fulfilling their personal goals.
In this presentation, we will be sharing the results from the first two years of the program. In other words, what progress MTFs demonstrated towards their personal goals and project objectives. Most of the information to evaluate their progress will come 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, or conference presentations that they lead, proposals and presentation notes and handouts for all presentations, and an annually updated curriculum vitae. In addition, pre-post-survey results for their diversity dispositions (including beliefs about teaching and learning, and community connection) and results from pre-post LMT scales for mathematical knowledge for teaching will be shared to report on MTFs’ progress so far.
Not having a sufficient number of well-prepared math leaders with sound content knowledge and effective pedagogical, leadership and adult education, and math advocacy skills is a critical issue facing the greater-Houston area and in particular HISD. With the addition of 15 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 math. MTFs have also been interacting with other math teachers through their campus, district, and non-district activities. Moreover, MTFs will positively impact pre-service and intern teachers district with whom they will interact. In addition to directly impacting their own students and teachers at their schools, these future teachers will, in turn, positively impact their own students, too. As a result, RUMTF will have a broad impact on math instruction and learning and, subsequently, on the future growth of the Houston economy.