The collaborative research grant, Mathematics of Doing, Understanding, Learning and Educating for Secondary Schools (MODULE(S2)) strives to improve preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ (PSMTs’) mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) with a three-pronged approach: (1) refine and expand instructional modules which improved preservice secondary teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching in pilot trials; (2) promote effective instruction by university faculty using these modules; and (3) investigate the impact of use of instructional modules and faculty quality of instruction on preservice teachers’ knowledge, so as to inform subsequent efforts in teacher education.
Each module is designed to be a 4-5 week instructional unit, and includes daily learning activities addressing MKT in the context of prioritized practices. Each module contains homework assignments, exams and/or quizzes, projects, simulations of teaching practice assignments, and rubrics for the above. Materials for each content area (geometry, statistics, algebra, and modeling) include three modules (e.g. Geometry modules are titled: Axiomatic Development, Transformations, and Similarity). Modules are designed for flexible use; they can stand alone or be used as a set and in various content courses (e.g., High School Mathematics from an Advanced Perspective or College Geometry). Furthermore, we incorporate technologies for teaching mathematics into modules so PSMTs will learn to use dynamic geometry software, computer algebra systems, on-line resources, and spreadsheets (Schneiter, Kohler, & Watts, 2011).
This five year project will build on efforts by the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-P) to create a gold standard for the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers. Using a Networked Improvement Community Model (Bryk et al., 2015) of design, three teams coordinate on the MODULE(S2) effort: (1) a writing team with subteams in four content areas (algebra, statistics, geometry, and modeling) will expand, refine, and disseminate instructional modules and support materials for faculty; (2) the professional development team will develop and conduct activities to support faculty using the modules; (3) the research team will provide empirically-based insight into effective instructional practices to develop preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching.
- The MODULE(S2) Writing Teams will create faculty instructional support materials to accompany the classroom materials. Comments in these materials provide guidance for instructors with regard to how and when to conduct whole class discussions and/or what important features of the content to emphasize with regard to the work of teaching.
- The MODULE(S2) Professional Development Team will create and conduct in person 2-3 day Summer Institutes each summer and monthly online Professional Learning Community meetings throughout the academic year. To support faculty in modeling prioritized practices, we provide materials and professional development to faculty of content courses. These resources aim to enhance faculty capacity to use these instructional practices in the modules as well as evaluate and provide feedback on preservice mathematics teachers’ responses to teaching situations. Faculty will collaborate online via the Trellis platform (developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and the Utah State University Digital Commons. In tandem with Module Design, Years 2 and 4 are for algebra and geometry instructors, and Years 3 and 5 for modeling and statistics.
- The MODULE(S2) Research Team will use mixed methods to provide empirically-based accounts of how factors of faculty quality of instruction and use of instructional resources contribute to preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching. Data collection methods include interview data, observations, written and video course assignments, and surveys.
The ambitious goal of MODULE(S2) is to develop course materials that mathematics and mathematics education faculty can use in content courses to develop preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ (PSMTs’) mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) in algebra, geometry, statistics, and modeling. The project has three major objectives:
- Refine and continue to develop instructional materials in two areas (geometry, statistics) that have been shown in pilot studies to develop PSMTs’ MKT; create materials for two additional areas: algebra and modeling.
- Create professional development materials and activities to support faculty in carrying out prioritized instructional practices in content courses and in developing PSMTs’ MKT.
- Investigate the conditions of instruction and instructors’ use of data that impact PSMTs’ MKT, development of MKT, and expectancy and value in using MKT as a resource for teaching.
In Year 1, we refine existing geometry modules and refine and create statistics modules using data from courses taught by co-PIs. We will also create modules in algebra and mathematical modeling during Year 1. In Years 2 and 4 we will widely pilot geometry and algebra modules, and we will revise and improve materials based on data collected from multiple sites; in Years 3 and 5 pilot and collect data at multiple sites to refine and improve the modeling and statistics modules.
Key Partner Institutions
APLU, Eastern Michigan University, Middle Tennessee State University, RMC Research, University of Arizona, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Utah State University
Gary Martin (chair)
Opportunities for Engagement : Faculty Needed to Pilot Materials
The MODULE(S2) project is seeking up to 12 faculty members per year (beginning fall of 2018) to pilot materials for mathematics content courses that pre-service high school teachers take (e.g. College Geometry, Statistics, etc.).
Faculty who pilot materials will be compensated $4000 for participating in a 2-3 day summer institute, teaching community conversations, and for activities throughout the term in which the course is taught, including collecting homework assignments and conducting beginning-of-term and end-of-term activities.