There are just so many hours a year that can be devoted to Professional Development and unfortunately, too many of us have experienced sitting in a professional development session that is totally old news or boring
Truthfully, Mathematics Professional Development is often overlooked until it is time to adopt a new Core Curriculum.
When we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience high-quality PD in math, we pay attention, right?
Mathematics Professional Development needs to be inspiring. Teachers need to leave feeling like their time was well spent and they feel more confident about being an effective math teacher.
So, what are the 6 key components to look for when planning HIGH-QUALITY mathematics PD?
1. New Learning and Tools That Directly Impact Instruction
“How will the educational decisions educators make be affected by the focus of the
Professional development should strengthen educator understanding, help identify clearly where students are struggling and succeeding, and equip the educator with new or different instructional tools which are essential to leading changes in classroom practices and student outcomes. If the program relies on assessments, the professional development should convey how the assessment results will guide future instructional decisions.
2. Everything is Included in the Initial Cost for Immediate Applicable Learning
“Does the professional development include everything educators need to implement learning or are there additional purchases they need to make afterward to implement what they were learning?”
The professional development should have tangible, concrete takeaways to offer, such as assessments, instructional strategies or materials.
3. Researched-Based Foundations
“Can you provide research or studies proving the efficacy and effectiveness of the professional development?”
“What neutral third parties have researched or evaluated the professional development?”
“Is the professional development updating with new research over time?”
It is important to understand the research foundation of the professional development offering. The research base can impact the types of funding streams you can use to pay for professional development, based on the requirements of accessing the funds.
With so many professional development options out there, these questions will help you make sure you are spending your professional development funds on programs that are proven to help educators and positively impact student growth.
The science around learning changes over time because researching is always leading to new findings.
For example, at Math Recovery, the professional development experiences and the resources for teaching are routinely updated to reflect the most current research.
4. Incorporates Practices of Teacher Reflection &
Improvement of Current Practices
“What practices does the program promote to encourage continued use of the learning and reflection on improvement?”
A strong professional development program lasts long after the initial learning days. Examples are: learning by watching and working with students, meeting with colleagues to reflect and determine the next steps for instruction, or using video recordings of lessons or assessments for reflection.
“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.”-John Dewey
5. Opportunities to Extend the Learning
“What does the professional development have in place to support ongoing support for educators or learning opportunities once the initial learning sessions are completed?”
The best way to make sure the learning lasts is to have continued refinement and practice of what they learned. Ask about available workshops, support sessions, advanced sessions, or online asynchronous resources available for participants.
6. Include Elements of Equitable Access
“How do you ensure equitable access to both participants and students?”
Educators interact with a variety of learners in their day-to-day work and one solution never fits all. It’s important to find out if the professional development is rigid in structure or flexible in order to allow equitable access.
Not only should the professional development include different ways to approach different learners, but it should also be accessible to the educators attending.
Example: How might they address group activities for people with mobility issues, closed captioning options for those with sight or hearing challenges, language options, etc? Are they adaptable to meet the needs of your educators?
About Math Recovery Professional Development
The US Math Recovery Council® provides dynamic professional development focused on teaching math for foundational numeracy learning for all students, empowering educators to advance students’ mathematical thinking and success. Sessions are led by highly-trained professionals who have implemented Math Recovery principles in a variety of settings. Research-based diagnostic assessments, learning progressions, and high-quality instructional tools help educators learn through in-person and/or online sessions. Educators learn to design, implement, and analyze mathematics instruction based on individual student learning.
Designed to inform and be used with any mathematics curriculum educators are using.
- Add+VantageMR® Courses: Focus on numeracy development • Supports elementary & middle school educators, special education instructors, math interventionists, and math coaches in diagnosing and advancing student understanding and growth using research-based progressions and teacher reflection and collaboration
- Math Recovery® Specialist Courses: The deepest level of professional development and support available through the US Math Recovery Council • Intensive, blended-learning professional development experiences include continual cycles of instruction, reflection, one-on-one coaching experiences, and refinement
- Leadership Courses: Prepare local coaches and leaders to support and lead sustainable Math Recovery initiatives in schools and districts • Course includes collegial meetings and reflection
- Pre/post Support Opportunities: A variety of offerings are available such as workshops, consulting, support sessions, and more to support the refinement and practice of Math Recovery principals
You may also enjoy, Two Powerful Professional Development Opportunities from Math Recovery®
Professional Development opportunities from US Math Recovery.®