Eric.ed.gov – Mathematics Academies: Cohort 1 Evaluation Study, 2011-2013

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Commencing in 2011, the Mathematics Academies Initiative is a series of professional development academies (lasting 1 to 2 years, depending on cohort) with the primary objectives of (a) providing educators with a high quality professional development experience that enhances their mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical skills, and (b) increasing positive attitudes and confidence when providing mathematical instruction. As coordinator of the initiative, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Office of Special Programs (OSP) partners with regional education service agencies (RESAs) and local school districts to identify and invite teachers to the math academies, and with Carnegie Learning Inc., an external vendor, to provide instruction and materials. This research study is an evaluation of the first cohort (hereafter, Cohort 1) of the Mathematics Academies Initiative. Cohort 1, a 2-year cohort, began in the summer of 2011 and was completed in the spring of 2013. Each year the cohort focused on a different content area; Year 1 focused on proportional reasoning, and Year 2 on developing algebraic thinking. The OSP sent a math academy description to special education directors across WV outlining the purpose, expected outcomes, and academy components, as well as a short list of appropriate participant characteristics to help directors determine whom to invite. OSP suggested recruitment of special educators who (a) served students in Grades 5 through 12; (b) taught mathematics either in a coteaching partnership or in a pull-out class; and/or (c) served students taking the general assessment–WESTEST 2. This mixed methods study used three instruments each year to gather quantitative and qualitative data: (a) a post-professional-development survey (hereafter, post-PD survey) distributed shortly after the initial weeklong summer academy; (b) an end-of-year survey conducted at the conclusion of academy activities; and (c) when appropriate, a pre- and post-test assessment of mathematical content and pedagogical knowledge, the Learning Mathematics for Teaching assessment (LMT; Hill, Schilling, & Ball, 2004). The post-PD and end-of-year surveys collected perceptual information regarding (a) the quality of academy elements (i.e., instruction, materials, content, etc.), and (b) changes in knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to mathematics and mathematical instruction. The LMT assessment is an empirically validated research- and evidence-based instrument that measures changes in mathematics content knowledge and instructional capacity. Of the 119 participants in the 1st year of the Mathematics Academies Initiative, nearly 80% (n = 95) responded to the post-PD survey, approximately 65% (n = 77) responded to the end-of-year survey, and 42 qualified to take part in an LMT assessment. Those responding to at least one of the academy surveys represented 35 counties across the state. Participation decreased by 42 individuals for the 2nd year of the academy. Of the returning 77 participants, over 85% (n = 66) responded to the post-PD survey, all 77 (100%) responded to the end-of-year survey, and 34 completed a LMT assessment. The 77 returnees represented 26 counties in West Virginia. The following are appended: (1) Cohort 1 Year 1–Post-PD and End-of-Year Survey Results; (2) Cohort 1 Year 2–Post-PD and End-of-Year Survey Results.; and (3) Cohort 1 Years 1 and 2–Items Unique to the End-of-Year Surveys.

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt 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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