Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Workshop 6:
Fostering Effective Professional Development for Teachers

Download Workshop 6 PDF

Principle: Principal as Catalyst

Focus question: What kind of professional development for math and science teachers will really make a difference?

Principals weigh a variety of professional development strategies that are based on the idea of collaboration and reflection. Teachers work together to help each other improve their practice in teaching math and science.

Workshop 6 – Preparatory Readings

We suggest that you read the following articles, included in the Appendix at the back of this Guide, prior to viewing Workshop 6:

Workshop 6 – Videoclips

Barbara Alcala–Staff Development
"Peer-to-Peer professional development"

Math Department Chair, Barbara Alcala at Whittier High School in Whittier, CA, describes how she encouraged two math teachers to lead a staff meeting about how to use white boards–dry-erase tablets that are large enough for a cooperative group of four or five students to use together, but small enough to be easily managed in the classroom. Teachers brainstorm their ideas for how they could use white boards to enhance group work in math. They provide each other with constructive criticism for applying these ideas to the classroom and leave not only with a set of white boards and markers to take back to their students, but a list of ideas from their peers.

Nancy Love

Thoughts from author and education researcher Nancy Love about several principles she believes are important for professional development for math and science teachers.

Wendy Shapiro/Deborah Bambino–CFG's for Teachers
"Critical Friends Groups and changing practice"

Eight-grade science teacher Deborah Bambino teaches at Central East Middle School in Philadelphia, an urban school under the current leadership of principal Wendy Shapiro. Deborah presents a lesson about mixing cold and warm air masses that is part of a new curriculum she is piloting. Immediately after school she presents the activity to her Critical Friends Group, a cross-disciplinary group of educators who meet regularly to examine each others' practice and provide feedback. After hearing their comments, Deborah returns to the classroom the next day and makes changes in the lesson for a new group of students.

Al Castillo/Adam Hernandez–Whittier High School
"Peer observations and mentoring in changing practice"

At Whittier High School in Whittier, CA, Principal Al Castillo and lead teachers Kirsten Leoniak and Dina Leslie helped start a peer mentoring program. Together, Al and three teachers from different disciplines observe a math class taught by Adam Hernandez. Later, Adam receives feedback from his peers, followed by a one-on-one meeting with the principal.

Workshop 6 – Site Discussion Questions

(remember to choose a Structure from those listed on pages 12 to 14)

  • How can the principal provide the time and resources for adequate professional development for teachers?
  • Who should lead math and science professional development? Why?
  • Do peer coaching models really work? Why? Why not?
  • How can I assess the need for professional development in my school?
  • What is the most effective professional development strategy you've used?
  • When do you lead professional development and when do others?
  • How do you use staff meeting time and other existing structures?
  • What are ways to give teachers the big picture so that they can make informed decisions about professional development?
  • Is it sufficient to work only with math and science teachers or should/can all teachers be involved?
  • How can the principal promote the value of changing math and science education in the school?
  • If teachers learn well collaboratively in groups, should those groups be across disciplines or should math and science teachers be separate?

Workshop 6 – Bibliography

Caccia. P. F."Linguistic Coaching: Helping Beginning Teachers Defeat Discouragement." Educational Leadership 536. 6 (1996): 17-20.

Cain, R. W., P. A. Kenney and C. G. Scholemer. "Teachers as Assessors: A Professional Development Challenge." Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics, 1994 Yearbook, Ed. D.B. Aichele and A. F. Cosford. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1994: 93-101.

Campbell, P. F. and J. Robles."Project IMPACT: Increasing the Mathematical Power of All Children and Teachers." Reflecting on Our Work: NSF Teacher Enhancement in K-6 Mathematics. Eds. S.N. Friel and G.S. Bright. Lanham, MD: U P of America, Inc. 1997: 179-86.

Carter, S., P. et. al. "Study Groups: The Productive 'Whole'." Journal of Staff Development 16. 3 (1995): 50-52.

Charles, L. and P. Clark. "Whole-Faculty Study Groups at Sweetwater Union High School." Journal of Staff Development 16. 3 (1995): 49-50.

Conger, J. The Charismatic Leader: Behind the Mystique of Exceptional Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989.

Corwin, R.B."Talking Mathematics: Supporting Discourse in Elementary School Classrooms." Reflecting on Our Work: NSF Teacher Enhancement in K-6 Mathematics. Eds. S.N. Friel and G.S. Bright. Lanham, MD: U P of America, 1997: 187-92.

Costa, A. and R. Garmston. Cognitive Coaching: Approaching Renaissance Schools. Norwood, MA: Christopher Gordon, 1994.

Costa, A. and B. Kallick. "Through the Lens of a Critical Friend." Educational Leadership 51. 3 (1993): 49-51.

Darling-Hammond, L. "Teacher Learning that Supports Student Learning." Educational Leadership Feb. 1998, 6-11.

Driscoll, M. and D. Bryant. Getting Started with Teachers. Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Research Council. Washington, DC, In press.

Evans, C.S. "When Teachers Look at Students Work." Educational Leadership 50. 5 (1993): 71-72.

Fennema, E., T. P. Carpenter and M. L. Franke. "Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI)." Reflecting on Our Work: NSF Teacher Enhancement in K-6 Mathematics. Eds. S.N. Friel and G.W. Bright, Lanham, MD: U P of America, 1997: 193-6.

Ganser, T."Preparing Mentors of Beginning Teachers: An Overview for Staff Developers." Journal of Staff Development 17. 4 (1996): 8-11.

Garmston, R. "How Administrators Support Peer Coaching." Educational Leadership 44. 5 (1987): 18-28.

Glasser, William. The Quality School Teacher, Harper Perennial Library, 1998.

Kruse, S., K. Seashore Louis, and A. Bryk. . Building Professional Community in Schools. Madison, WI: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, U of Wisconsin, Spring 1994.

LaBonte, K., et al. "Whole-Faculty Study Groups: Building the Capacity for Change through Interagency Collaboration." Journal of Staff Development 16 (3) 1995: 45-47.

Lieberman, A. and M. W. McLaughlin. "Networks for Educational Change: Powerful and Problematic." Phi Delta Kappan 73 . 9 (1992): 673-677.

Little, J. W. "Teachers as Colleagues." Schools as Collaborative Culture: Creating the Culture Now. Ed. A. Lieberman. Bristol, PA: Falmer Press, 1990.

Little, J. W. "The Persistence of Privacy: Autonomy and Initiative in Teachers' Professional Relations." Teachers College Record 91. 4 (1990): 509-536.

Little, J.W. "Teachers' Professional Development in a Climate of Educational Reform." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 15. 2 (1993): 129-151.

Loucks-Horsley, S., et al. Continuing to Learn: A Guidebook for Teacher Development. Andover, MA: The Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast and Islands and Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council, 1987.

Loucks-Horsley, S., et al. Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 1998.

Martin-Kniep, G.O., E. S. Sussman and E. Meltzer. "The North Shore Collaborative Inquiry Project: A Reflective Study of Assessment and Learning. Journal of Staff Development 16. 4 (1995): 46-51.

McLaughlin, M. W. and I. Oberman, Teacher Learning: New Policies, New Practices. New York: Teachers College Press, 1996.

McLaughlin, M. W., J. E. Talbert, and N. Bascia. Eds. The Context of Teaching in Secondary Schools: Teachers' Realities. New York: Teachers College Press. 1990.

Murphy, C. "Whole-Faculty Study Groups: Doing the Seemingly Undoable." Journal of Staff Development 16. 3 (1995): 71-74.

Murphy, C. "Study Groups Foster Schoolwide Learning." Educational Leadership 50. 3 (1992): 71-74.

National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future. New York: 1996.

Newton, A., et al. Mentoring: A Resource and Training Guide for Educators. Andover, MA: The Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast and Islands, 1994.

Phillips, M.D. and C. D. Glickman. "Peer Coaching: Developmental Approach to Enhancing Teacher Thinking." Journal of Staff Development 12. 2 (1991): 20-25.

Roy, P. A Primer on Study Groups. Wilmington, DE: Patricia Roy, 1994

Saphier, J. and R. Gower. The Skillful Teacher: Building Your Teaching Skills. Research for Better Teaching, 1997.

Showers, B. and B. Joyce. "The Evolution of Peer Coaching." Educational Leadership 53. 6 (1996): 12-16.

Shulman, J. J. and J. A. Colbert The Mentor Teacher Casebook. Eugene, OR: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, U of Oregon and San Francisco: Far West Laboratory.1987.

Shulman, L."Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the New Reform." Harvard Educational Review 57, 1987: 1-22.

Stein, M. K. and M. Smith. In press. "The Mathematical Tasks Framework as a Tool for Reflection." Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.

Turner, P. "Study Groups at Sarah Cobb Elementary." Journal of Staff Development 16. 3 (1995): 53.

Web Sites

AAAS' Project 2061 Professional Development Program. Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/Pdp/challeng.html

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Internet Address: http://www.ascd.org/

Education Week. Internet Address: http://www.edweek.org/tsb/index.html?intc=thed

Eisenhower National Clearinghouse Professional Development site. Internet Address: http://my.goenc.com/search/?page=1&pagelength=10&resultType=search&searchText=%22reform+ideas%22

Fostering High Quality Program. Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/newsinfo/earlychild/fostering/copleyp.htm

NCTM Professional Development. Internet Address: http://www.nctm.org/profdev/default.aspx

Teaching Smart (Science, Math and Related Technology.) Internet Address: http://teachingsmart.org/description.html

Other Sources

Cognitively Guided Instruction Project. Directed by Elizabeth Fennema and Thomas P. Carpenter, U of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI.

Colorado College Integrated Science Teacher Enhancement Project (CC-ISTEP). Paul Kuerbis, Project Director, Colorado Springs, CO 719- 389-6147.

Global Systems Science (GSS). Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA: 510-642-9635.

National Staff Development Council (NSDC), for information on professional development in peer coaching and mentoring. Oxford. OH: 513-523-6029.


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