Eric.ed.gov – Establishing a Strong Foundation: District and School Supports for Classroom Implementation of the MDC Framework

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of high-quality formative assessment tools to support teachers’ incorporation of the Core Common State Standards (CCSS) into their classroom instruction. Lessons from the first generation of standards-based reforms suggest that intense attention to high quality instructional tasks, use of formative assessments embedded in those tasks, and professional development (PD) that attends to both content knowledge and instruction are essential considerations if teachers are to meet the demands of the CCSS. Experts from the Shell Centre have developed a set of formative assessment lessons (FALs) for high school mathematics teachers to facilitate CCSS-based student mathematics learning and provide teachers with feedback about student understanding and mastery. The tools are designed to target the “instructional core” by: (1) Raising the level of content; (2) Enhancing teachers’ skill and knowledge about instruction, content and formative assessment; and (3) Catalyzing student engagement in their learning so that they will achieve at high levels. In 2010-2011, the Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) was piloted in four districts and two networks of schools. In most cases, school districts applied for and received grants to implement MDC; in others, national networks were the grantee and the organizer. It is important to note that during the MDC pilot year, the use of FALs was limited in most sites. Many districts received the beta versions of the FALs towards the end of the school year and teachers did not have the opportunity to use them, as they were preparing students for state tests and end-of-course exams. Most teachers have only used the FALs as part of PD sessions. In this report, which draws largely on data from three school districts and one school network, Research for Action (RFA) identifies the conditions and contexts for successful use of the tools, and examines the actions that district and school-based leaders can take to support teachers’ adoption and effective implementation of the math tools. It provides specific recommendations to guide local leaders as they gear up to help year one teachers deepen their use of the MDC tools and teachers who are just joining the initiative to efficiently gain the expertise and skills they need to successfully implement the tools. Appended are: (1) Survey Measures; (2) Methodology for MDC; and (3) References. (Contains 8 figures, 5 tables and 1 footnote.)

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som lektor hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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