Background: This paper describes the Problem-Solving Cycle model of professional development and the Mathematics Leadership Preparation model of PD leader preparation. These models form the backbone of our current research-practice partnership project in which we are working with a large urban district to adapt these models to develop district capacity to support the implementation of a middle school mathematics curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). We highlight the central role of video in the Problem-Solving Cycle and our approach to preparing teacher leaders to use video-based discussions to understand student thinking and instructional practices. Results: The first phase of the research was designed to identify how the models were adapted to support the district goals for implementing their new CCSS mathematics curriculum and to understand the reasons for the adaptations. The analysis of multiple data sources revealed two overarching categories of adaptations that we made to refine the models to better support the district goals: addressing district priorities and addressing teacher leaders’ limited experience. We made adaptations such as incorporating the district curriculum, addressing the needs of English learners, integrating the teacher leaders’ learning of the Problem-Solving Cycle model into the leadership preparation session, increasing the emphasis on what it means to be an instructional leader, strengthening the role of modeling and debriefing activities to support leadership development, scaffolding the selection of video clips, and incorporating the use of rehearsals and debriefing activities to support leadership development. Conclusion: The implications of this work illustrate the need for researchers to be responsive to the context of their school partners if they expect their work to be meaningful. Using the frame of design-based implementation research proved to be an effective strategy for working with the district STEM leadership team and teacher leaders to adapt the Problem-Solving Cycle and Mathematics Leadership Preparation models to support district implementation of a new curriculum that necessitates shifts in teacher practices and for determining how to make video-based discussions more productive activities in the models.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
CCSS: Common Core State Standards; MLP: Mathematics Leadership Preparation; NSF: National Science Foundation; PD: Professional development; PSC: Problem-Solving Cycle; TLP: Teacher Leadership Preparation; TLs: Teacher leaders; TRU: Teaching for Robust Understanding; UA: Universal Access; UUSD: Urban Unified School District; VBD: Video-based discussion
2The two models were developed and field-tested as part of the two research projects conducted by Borko, Jacobs, and Koellner, supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. DRL 0115609; Grant No. DRL 0732212). For more detailed descriptions of these models and the research studies, see Borko et al. (2015).
This work is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL 1417261. The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available because this is still an active project and a public release would violate the terms of our IRB approval and Data Use Analysis agreement with the district. Some parts of the data set are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. HB designed the project, participated in developing the analysis plan, and drafted the manuscript and manuscript revisions. JC participated in designing the project and developing the analysis plan and drafted portions of the original and revised versions of the manuscript. CM participated in collecting the data and developing the analysis plan, coordinated the data analysis, and helped to draft the manuscript. RA participated in collecting the data, developing the analysis plan, and conducting the data analysis. AF participated in collecting the data, developing the analysis plan, and conducting the data analysis. Susan M participated in collecting the data, developing the analysis plan, and conducting the data analysis. Suki M participated in collecting the data, developing the analysis plan, and conducting the data analysis. AMV participated in collecting the data, developing the analysis plan, and conducting the data analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF. Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
- Math education
- Teacher leadership
- Teacher professional development
- Video-based discussion