Our Current Best Thinking About… Professional Learning

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Our Current Best Thinking About… Professional Learning. Cathy Bruce cathybruce@trentu.ca www.tmerc.ca Shelley Yearley shelley.yearley@tldsb.on.ca. 1. Let ’ s look again…. 6 green:4 yellow. How can you name this?. Part-Part (set). 6 green:10 shapes. Part-Whole (set). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Our Current Best Thinking About… Professional Learning

  • *Our Current Best Thinking About Professional LearningCathy Bruce cathybruce@trentu.cawww.tmerc.caShelley Yearleyshelley.yearley@tldsb.on.ca

  • Lets look againHow can you name this?6 green:4 yellowPart-Part (set)6 green:10 shapesPart-Whole (set)One fifth of the total area is greenPart-Whole (area)

  • Powerful Professional LearningThink about a professional learning experience that has been particularly important in supporting improved practice for you.Make a quick note about what it was and why it was so powerful.Keep this in mind through the session*

  • The Compelling Why

    Most reforms stop short at the classroom door; all available evidence suggests that classroom practice has changed little in the past 100 years.

    Lewis, Perry & Hurd, 2004A Deeper Look at Lesson StudyEducational Leadership

  • The Compelling WhyWebster-Wrights 2009 review of over 200 studies on PD and PL found that professionals learn from experience and that learning is ongoing through active engagement in practice (p. 723). However, the vast majority of educational PD programs have separated the learning opportunities from natural contexts and from practice.

  • Assumptions1. Teachers need fixing up2. Learning out of context will be translated to classroom with ease3. Others know best what teachers need

  • Five Characteristics of Effective Professional LearningThe following five characteristics should be considered by anyone charged with, or seeking to provide professional learning experiences for Ontarios teachersi) Coherenceii) Attention to Adult Learning Stylesiii) Goal-orientationiv) Sustainablev) Evidence-informed

    Recommendations to the Partnership Table on Teacher Professional Learning (2007)

  • Characteristics of Effective Professional LearningAcross multiple studies, there is clear evidence that sustained, iterative, teacher-directed and collaborative models of professional learning support significant gains in teacher efficacy.

    Dr. Cathy Bruce, Science & Technology Education Group (2012)

    Bruce, Esmonde, Ross, Gookey, Beatty (2010)


  • So Lets Analyse Math CAMPPPConsider the key characteristics of professional learning:Where is Camppp stronger? Where is Camppp weaker?

    CollaborativeTeacher-directedResearch/evidence- supported- Sustained- Classroom embedded- Goal alignment- Content rich

  • So Lets Analyse Math CAMPPPWhat has Math CAMPPP done to try to overcome some of the challenges of a week-long PD experience in summer months?CollaborativeTeacher-directedResearch-supportedSustainedClassroom embeddedGoal alignmentContent rich

    Rate on a scale of 1 to 5

    (1 not really5 absolutely)

  • Math Knowledge for TeachingMark Hoover Thames and Deborah Lowenberg Ball

    *CCK knowing if an answer is correct, knowledge of definitions and proceduresPCK knowing the most useful ways of representing and formulating the subject in order to make it comprehensible to othersSCK knowing more math than CCK but distinct from PCK Horizon Knowledge mathematical peripheral vision

  • Look back at your PL notesWhat aspects of Math Knowledge for Teaching were strong in your professional learning experience?

  • Video Story from Digital PaperThink about aspects of Math Knowledge for Teaching in this example of Collaborative Action Research

  • Characteristics of Teacher InquiryRelevantCollaborativeReflectiveIterativeReasonedAdaptiveReciprocal(Capacity building series, 2010)

    Should we consider adding:Teacher directed (teacher as agent and decision maker)Activist oriented(practice implications)Any other key characteristics? (to think about)

  • Inquiry? Research? Or Both?The Broad Context of Education

    Inquiry(origins as old as humankind)Educational Research(since University of Chicago Laboratory School, around 1900)ActionResearch(origins in social activism 1930s)CollaborativeActionResearch(past 20 yrs)Co-planning & co-teachingTeacher and classroomInquiryBook study/Video studyGiant birds nest on drugs

  • Examples of high quality mathematics teacher inquiryCollaborative inquiry (CILM, MYCI, GAINS)Often involves co-planning, co-teaching, debriefing, with sustained focus on difficult mathematics with the intention of enhancing practice and understandingsExamples of high quality teacher inquiry that are also researchCollaborative action research (CAR-TLT, KNAER)Lesson Study (M4YC) CLIPS (design research)

  • Myths Of Professional LearningNo budget for release time = no pdNo planning needed just show up Drop in-between meeting/session activityPLC, CIL-M, Inquiry, SIPSA are all different Growing quickly is a good ideaAny one with facilitation skills can support math professional learningA coach is a coach (no special training, and dont need support themselves)

  • Collaborative Action Research*www.tmerc.ca

  • Why High Quality Math PL Is Important?Agency (empowerment, ownership and constructive urgency)Content learning (close attention to student work, listening and noticing)Sustainability (will and capacity to continue)Teacher efficacy (high efficacy leads to student increases in efficacy and achievement)

  • What opportunities might you have forslowing it down?sustaining focus on a precise content piece?building purposeful professional learning networks with researchers?supporting collaborative teacher learning?*

    SHELLEY In North America, we tend to only consider part-whole relationships and ignore part-part relationshipsSHELLEYCATHY


    *CATHY*SHELLEY*Cathy BruceAcross multiple studies, there is clear evidence that sustained, iterative, teacher-directed and collaborative models of professional learning support significant gains in teacher efficacy. CATHY W versus the MA visual model of the difference between what we are calling PD and PL*SHELLEYAgainst key characteristics of PLCertainly not classroom embeddedAnd how to overcome some of the challengesIs this really collaborative?

    SHELLEY Against key characteristics of PLCertainly not classroom embeddedAnd how to overcome some of the challengesIs this really collaborative?

    SHELLEYThis is all the mathematical knowledge important for teaching the knowledge that teachers need to carry out their work as teachers of mathematics (Ball, Thames & Phelps, p.4)

    Common Content Knowledge is the knowledge that is used in settings beyond the classrooms and includes evaluating the correctness of an answer, being able to provide definitions of concepts, and modeling procedural steps. It is the math that parents know!

    PCK is the blend of knowing the content contained within the curriculum (what to teach) and the knowledge of how students learn in general and of their thinking (this is evidenced in anticipating common student misconceptions) and the knowledge of the content and the impact on teaching (such as sequencing, time, which examples to use).

    SCK is part of what distinguishes the skills and knowledge of teachers of mathematics from others who utilize mathematics in their professional and/or personal lives. This extends beyond the knowledge we expect students to possess at the respective grade level and includes knowledge of how the mathematical concepts connect (such as the different interpretations of each of the operations subtraction as take away and as comparison). Teachers must not only be able to do mathematics but they also need to unpack elements of the mathematics to make it apparent to students. They need to be able to explain why in a variety of ways and to use correct and appropriate language to do so. This would include selecting a number line as a representation for students to use when learning about the meaning of fractions.

    Finally, Thames and Ball discuss the knowledge at the mathematical horizon. This is the knowledge of the mathematics being taught within the context of what learning has preceded it and what will come in the future. It is a deep understanding of the connections between the conceptual understanding and the procedural algorithms, the connections of operations across number systems, the general mathematical properties which will hold true in other contexts. It allows teachers to build and extend student thinking as a strong foundation for subsequent learning, perhaps without making these connections explicit to the students.

    SHELLEY TAKE IT UPCATHYCATHYCATHYKurt Lewen ARCapobianco, and others CAR

    *CATHYIndividual teacher inquiry perpetuates isolation norms

    *SHELLEYSHELLEY It occurs over time (5 months for us with fractions) and is modified to align with the teachers needs and findings.

    Text from TMERC Collaborative Action Research Digital Paper (www.tmerc.ca)CATHYCATHYSHELLEY