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MSP LNC 2005

2005 MSP Learning Network Conference Breakout Sessions

Alignment of K-16 Mathematics and Science

Susana Navarro, Alicia Parra, and Lucy Michal
El Paso MSP has aligned K-12 mathematics and science courses with postsecondary STEM expectations to address NSF's key feature of providing challenging courses and curriculum. Working groups of K-12 teachers together with postsecondary STEM faculty have met to map content in mathematics and science to cognitive demands. The session will provide a brief description of the frameworks, as well as provide information on why the alignment was initiated, the work that has been completed to date, and the impact alignment is having on K-12 districts and postsecondary STEM faculty.

Sheila Jones
University System of Georgia

Amy Mast
Georgia Department of Education

Dava Coleman
University of Georgia
The University System of Georgia MSP, the Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics (PRISM) is currently participating in the revision of the current SM curricula for Georgia's K-12 students and providing needed professional development to ensure a successful implementation. This session will provide a brief description of the revised standards-based curricula, the Georgia Performance Standards, PRISM's professional development opportunities through learning communities and other programs, and the involvement of higher education STEM faculty.

Knowledge of Mathematics for Teaching: How to Define it? How to assess it? How to achieve it?

Glenn Stevens
Boston Univeristy

Wayne Harvey and Al Cuoco
Education Development Center

Sabra Lee and Carol Baldassari
PERG, Lesley University
Teachers need challenging mathematical experiences of their own as models for developing challenging but accessible experiences for their students. But what "knowledge" do we hope teachers will learn from these experiences and how will this knowledge affect their work in the classroom? This session focuses on the theme of "Knowledge of Mathematics for Teaching" --how to define it, how to develop it in teachers, how to recognize and evaluate it, and how to increase appreciation and support for it among leaders in the school districts and in the universities. There were time for full discussion of ideas and strategies related to these questions.

Supplemental Materials:
Appendix 1
Appendix 2

Developing an Undergraduate Science Content Course Sequence for Future Elementary Teachers: Considerations, Challenges, and a Call for Collaboration

George Nelson
Western Washington University
The North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership is developing a year-long science sequence for future elementary teachers that will be piloted next academic year to be taught at Whatcom, Everett, and Skagit Valley Community Colleges, Northwest Indian College, and Western Washington University. This session will describe the courses, the development process, some challenges that we are facing. The project has a need to identify and share existing materials and associated research that can be incorporated into courses like these, especially in Earth and life science. Participants will share suggestions for collaboration on potential curriculum components.

How will we know challenging science courses and institutes for teachers are effective?

Ron Atwood
University of Kentucky
AMSP has utilized multiple-choice tasks with non-scientific conceptions embedded in the distractor options to assess preservice and inservice teachers' conceptual understanding before and after completing "challenging" courses and institutes. Examples and results will be shared. Advantages and disadvantages of this approach and alternative approaches will be discussed.

Supplemental Materials:
Preservice EL Teachers
Entering Preservice Elementary Teachers

Multiple Options for Challenging Courses and Curriculum

Lee Sloan
Del Mar College

Dwight Goode
Texas A&M-Kingsville

Harriet Lamm and Nancy Knobles
The AIMS Leadership Team discusses how the vision of Challenging Courses and Curriculum has varied in the partnership and how they have successfully negotiated to achieve the MSP objective through multiple venues: prek-12 standards-based mathematics instruction; intensive professional development of instructional methodology aligned with the standards-based curriculum; coaching/mentoring for pedogogy adoption; and unique technology applications for instructional support.

In-Service Training for an Inquiry-Based Science Program in North Carolina

Dave Smith and Norm Budnitz
The TASC Program was designed to introduce school districts to inquiry-based science by providing affordable materials and professional development. TASC trainers are not in a position to force teachers to examine their knowledge and misconceptions or to integrate new knowledge into their thinking and teaching. Not all teachers willingly accept the challenge, but TASC must entice them nonetheless. As a matter of necessity, the program's trainers have found ways to get teachers to grapple with science content. Two TASC trainers will share the experience of presenting teachers with the challenge to learn and demonstrate a few techniques.

Sustainable immersion of all children of large urban district in extended, full cycle inquiry: What does it take and what results are found?

Christian Schunn
University of Pittsburgh

Terry Millar
University of Wisconsin
One of our goals is to have all students engage every year in an extended, in-class, authentic science full-cycle inquiry project (typically 4-6 weeks in length). There are many challenges to making that happen in urban districts, but we have made progress, thinking through how to create such experiences that align with state standards, maximize the learning gains from the in-depth experience, develop sustainable in-district support, align with IHE resources for in and pre-service connections, etc.

Assessing science content knowledge of middle school teacher

Sean Smith
Horizon Research Inc.
This session describes efforts by one MSP RETA (ATLAST) to develop measures of teachers' science knowledge. Sample items are discussed, as well as lessons learned about the types of teacher knowledge that can be assessed. Participants also receive information about when these measures will be available for use.

MSP overall Program Evaluation: Year one activities

Robert Yin
The MSP-PE team provides an overview of its Year-1 evaluation activities of the MSP Program. The overview includes a discussion of evaluating the MSP Program from a context of discovery and a context of justification and highlight potential substudies. The MSP-PE team was also available to answer questions about the evaluation.

Supplemental Materials:

Use of Surveys of Enacted Curriculum to evaluate and report on math and science course content.

Rolf Blank

William Badders
Cleveland Public Schools

Paulette Poncelet
The CCSSO RETA project has demonstrated the use of the Enacted Curricululm survey and reporting system with several MSPs, especially for analyzing instrution, differences in course conent, and evaluating effects of professional development. Cleveland MSP has used the Surveys as part of its project evaluation and will be demonstrating how the data are reported and used.

OGAP - A Developing Model of Cognitively Based Assessment

Marge Petit and Beth Hulbert
Vermont Mathematics Partnership
Implications for Formative Assessment, Instruction, Content Course Development, and School Intervention.

Evaluation Support from two RETAs: What can they do to help you?

Catherine Callow-Heusser
Utah State

Norman Webb
University of Wisconsin
This session presents information on the types of support these RETA projects can give the MSP Partnership projects as they develop their evaluations.

Assessing mathematical content knowledge of middle school teachers

Heather Hill
University of Michigan
This session covers the history of and alternative methods for measuring teachers' knowledge of teaching mathematics. The session explores a variety of existing methods and tools for measuring teachers' mathematical teaching knowledge, and describe one project designed to supply such tools to the research community. Participants were able to network with others interested in using such measures.

Status Report on Mathematics Standards: Where are we today?

Jim Rubillo
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Roger Howe
Yale University

Herb Clemens
Ohio State University
In July, 2004, the State Supervisors of Mathematics of the 50 States were invited by their professional association, ASSM, and the leadership of the NCTM, to come together at the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute to examine and compare their various state standards in mathematics within the framework of the NCTM standards. A group of research mathematicians who have been active in school mathematics issues was invited to participate and to formulate an analysis of fundamental mathematical strands which were common (or not) to the various State Standards. Two perspectives on this exercise are presented, focusing on the (perhaps surprising) data which is emerging and the very promising dialogue which it is engendering. There were opportunities for questions and discussion throughout the presentation.

RETA Projects and MSPnet - One on one or team sessions

Joni Falk, Brian Drayton, and Shay Pokress
- Explore ways that MSPnet can support collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst the RETAs.

- Explore ways that MSPnet can support the RETAs dissemination of their tools and research within the MSP community.

- Update the RETA showcase so that it will be a more accurate and interactive representation of the RETAs' work for the other MSPs' as well as for the public at large.

Math Masters Project: Short Courses for Inservice Teachers

Terry Millar
University of Wisconsin

Brian Sniff
Madison Metropolitan SD
Through the Math Masters project, the Madison Metropolitan School District and the University of Wisconsin Madison's Department of Mathematics have developed an ongoing, intensive, program of content-based teacher professional development that brings the partners' middle school mathematics teachers together in courses team-taught by the mathematicians and the MMSD secondary mathematics resource teacher. In addition to content knowledge, teachers receive content-specific pedagogical instruction and other forms of pedagogical support and modeling that help them create standards-based mathematics classrooms and effectively utilize the "Connected Mathematics Project." The project gives an overview of the program and results to date.

Supplemental Materials:
Report Course 1
Report Course 2

On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness: Judging the Quality of K-12 Mathematics Evaluations. A report of the National Research Council

Jere Confrey
Washington University
St. Louis and Chair of the NAS/NRC Committee
This session discusses the NRC report that reviewed the evaluations of 13 NSF supported and 6 commercially developed mathematics curricula. The goals in writing the report were twofold: examine evidence currently available from the evaluation of effetiveness of mathematics curricula and 2) suggest ways to improve the quality and usefulness of evaluations.

The entire study is available from the Mathematical Sciences Education Board, and can be viewed online at

K-12 Student Science Assessment Instruments

Phillip Sadler
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
The effectiveness of MSP activities can be measured through the assessment of changes in students' and teachers' attitudes, skills, and conceptual understandings. Our team has been particularly engaged in the development, validation, and application of instruments that measure student understanding. We will consider the problems involved in aligning tests with nation standards, incorporation of cognitive research on student conceptions, and underlying psychometric properties of items and their assembly into test instruments.

Student Assessment Math and Science: Developing Curriculum Sensitive Measures

William Schmidt
Michigan State University
PROM/SE will implement a unique design for large-scale mathematics and science improvements using evidence from assessments to improve standards and the quality of teaching.

MARS Toolkit for Change Agents: linking challenges to tools through strategies. Change is made by people - but people are more effective when they have well-engineered tools to help them.

Mary Bouck
Michigan State University
The web-based Toolkit provides a framework for those active in standards-based improvement to share the challenges they face, and the tools that have helped tackle those challenges more effectively.

The Role of Standards-based Reform Including Interim Tests of Student Achievement in MSP Work

Lauren Resnick
University of Pittsburgh Andy Porter, Vanderbilt Univ.
This session focuses on urban district curriculum centralization policies and practices. Are the MSP's operating in districts that are using standards-based reform to align teaching and learning with standards and tests? What initiatives are being used to increase alignment? Is the target of alignment the standards, the tests or are these so well aligned that there is no distinction? Are the districts using interim tests and if so, what subjects and what grade levels? Are the interim tests aligned with the end of year tests and the standards? How are results of the interim tests used? How does the approach appear to be working in terms of advancing student achievement? Are improvements seen at all levels of proficiency?

Networking for MSP project evaluators

Joy Frechtling
Evaluators will meet to discuss the particular challenges involved in MSP projects, with particular emphasis on evaluating challenging courses and curriculum at all levels.

Measuring the Content of Instruction and Alignment in MSP Districts: Tools and Their Uses

Andrew Porter
Vanderbilt University
Standards-based reform is intended to engage all students in ambitious academic content in math/science (and other subjects). At the top, policies are to be aligned in their content message to teachers and instructional leaders. At the bottom, instruction is to come increasingly into alignment with the instructional guidance (e.g. content standards, assessments, professional development). Teachers, instructional leaders and policy makers need tools to measure the content of the intended, enacted and achieved curriculum. They also need tools for measuring the resulting degrees of alignment. This session will describe tools to meet these needs and illustrate their use.

The Management Information System (MIS) for K-12 modules

Gary Silverstein, Robyn Bell, and Ed Mann
Tentative findings to date will be discussed. Participants will also have the opportunity to comment on the modules.

An overview on the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) recommendations on the Mathematical Education of Teachers.

Jim Lewis
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Mathematics Content Courses for Middle Level Teachers-information will be shared based upon experiences gained from implementing a first course.

Knowledge of Mathematics for Teaching: How to Define it? How to assess it? How to achieve it?

Glenn Stevens
Boston Univeristy

Wayne Harvey and Al Cuoco
Education Development Center

Sabra Lee and Carol Baldassari
PERG, Lesley University
Teachers need challenging mathematical experiences of their own as models for developing challenging but accessible experiences for their students. But what "knowledge" do we hope teachers will learn from these experiences and how will this knowledge affect their work in the classroom? This session will focus on the theme of "Knowledge of Mathematics for Teaching" --how to define it, how to develop it in teachers, how to recognize and evaluate it, and how to increase appreciation and support for it among leaders in the school districts and in the universities. There will be time for full discussion of ideas and strategies related to these questions.

Title 1/Mathematics Initiative at the U.S. Dept. of Education

Patricia O'Connell Ross
U.S. Department of Education
This session will focus on the strategic planning process underway at the U.S. Department of Education to improve mathematics instruction in Title 1 Schools. Participants will be asked to provide input into the strategic plan and offer ways that the mathematics and mathematics education leadership community can contribute to this effort.

Teachers Learning Science Online: What Formative Assessment Can Reveal

Sue Doubler
In this breakout session, examples of assessment strategies used in the Lesley/TERC Online Master's program, e.g., thought experiments, project rubrics, discussion analysis, peer and self-assessment, will be shared in order to seed discussion of possible ways of finding out what teachers learn.

Elementary and Middle School Teachers as Mathematicians: The Vermont model for providing challenging courses and curricula

Ken Gross
University of Vermont
The Vermont Mathematics Initiative will present a successful model for K-8 content based mathematics professional development, which is being disseminated to sites in other states.