Building Communities of Learners and Leaders in Mathematics
Each Summer, GBMP has offered specialized 2-week math content courses to local teachers from participating school districts. The courses are designed to prepare teachers to offer mathematics instruction that enables all students to learn significant mathematics with depth and understanding. Course offerings have included:
Should GBMP be able to offer any further courses (post summer 2012) information regarding course schedules, locations, registration, and getting college credit for the courses, will be posted here.
Mathematics Support Team teachers, or “MSTs”, are teachers who have been chosen from targeted schools in the Partnership to receive additional professional development so that they can be leaders in mathematics in their schools and in their districts. The program aims to extend these teachers’ understanding of mathematics, enhance their personal mathematical dispositions, expand their abilities to teach mathematics, and build both the willingness and skills necessary to take on leadership roles within their school systems. The forms that this MST leadership is expected to take include:
The MST program started in 2005 during GBMP's first phase of National Science Foundation funding and concluded in May 2012 as the GBMP: Phase 2 Research project wound down.
In the 2008-2009 project year, GBMP began to financially support the establishment of professional learning communities, or "PLCs", in schools with targeted grades. PLCs are groups of math education faculty in schools, led by a GBMP MST, who meet regularly on their own after normal school hours for the purpose of professional development. Meetings of PLCs usually include discussing mathematics professional literature, research in mathematics, and/or doing mathematics together. Both the MST (for leading) and the other participating teachers (for attending) are paid by GBMP for their involvement in each PLC session. In the first 2 years (school years 2008-09 and 2009-10), PLCs met 85 times at 12 different targeted schools and involved 15 MSTs and 104 of their peers. During the 2010-2011 school year (3rd school year PLCs existed), PLCs met a total of 106 times at 17 schools and included a total of 154 teachers. The final PLC meetings for 2011-12 school year concluded in April. In total this year, PLCs met 120 times and included 108 teachers from 15 different schools.
Mathematics students often ask "Why do we need to know this stuff?" Working along with the Education Department, UAB Engineering Department faculty created engineering tasks that show practical applications of mathematics so that teachers and students can connect mathematics to the "real" world. You can find these tasks and other resources at the GBMP Engineering Task Website.
For more resources, we recommend the following:
The Mathematics Education Collaborative's website, http://mec-math.org/
Western Washington University's MathNEXUS, found at http://mathnexus.wwu.edu/
Mathematics Education and "Scientific" Research Editorial by W. Gary Martin at Mathematicallysane. com