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MTE-P

Networked Improvement Communities to Design and Implement Program Transformation Tools for Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation (NIC-Transform)

 

Problem Addressed

The collaborative research project, entitled “Using Networked Improvement Communities to Design and Implement Program Transformation Tools for Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation” (NIC-Transform; DUE 1834539 and 1834551, 10/1/2018-9/30/2020, $300,000), addresses the challenges of transforming secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs to meet the Standards for the Preparation of Teachers of Mathematics (AMTE Standards) prepared by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators and other national recommendations. A networked improvement community (NIC) approach is used to collaboratively propagate and implement tools to support programs in meeting this challenge, including a knowledge generation and management system (KGMS) that facilitates the capture of validated products and approaches useful in transforming secondary mathematics teacher preparation. Five institutions (Auburn University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University, and California State University-Fullerton) spearhead this effort within the context of the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-P), a collaborative of over 90 universities organized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to focus on secondary mathematics teacher preparation.

Since 2012, the MTE-P has worked to create solutions to significant problems in secondary mathematics teacher preparation. However, as pointed out in the AMTE Standards, creating programs that achieve the vision of well-prepared beginning mathematics teachers is challenging, requiring a continuing focus that acknowledges the “ongoing and cyclic nature of improving mathematics teacher preparation program” (p. 165). NIC-Transform addresses this challenge by weaving together two mutually-reinforcing areas of work using a NIC design. A group of institutions involved in the MTE-P are developing approaches to effectively enact program transformation, drawn from research on institutional change and enacting the NIC design at an institutional level. The design of this project thus is a "NIC of NICs" incorporating work across the institutions. Simultaneously, work is underway to develop a KGMS to manage the knowledge that is being generated by NIC-Transform and MTE-P more broadly. Over a period of two years, these efforts will result in basic infrastructure that can be scaled up to support transformation efforts across the MTE-P and create a model that can be used with the nation.

General Approach

NIC-Transform, a comprehensive approach to engage five diverse secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs in an overall process of transformation to meet the national vision of secondary mathematics teacher preparation, as described in the AMTE Standards and other documents. Comprehensive transformation of these five diverse secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs has the potential to impact over 350 preservice teachers and therefore has the potential impact over 25,000 K12 students. The initial infrastructure created by this project will be the basis for developing a more comprehensive project at the conclusion of the present study that would scale up the work to a much larger number of sites. Further, this project will generate a usable knowledge generation and management system that will extend access to additional institutions to support their comprehensive program transformation efforts and capture the knowledge generated through these transformation efforts as products and approaches are adapted for use by other institutions across, and eventually beyond, the network.

The overarching goals of NIC-Transform are to: (a) build a networked improvement community (NIC) of institutions focused on collaboratively developing and sharing tools and strategies for program transformation, incorporating attention to institutional change; and (b) create a knowledge generation and management system (KGMS) that facilitates the generation and capture of validated products and approaches useful in transforming secondary mathematics teacher preparation. The specific research questions include:

  1. How is program transformation operationalized to structure secondary mathematics teacher preparation program transformation efforts across multiple contexts?
  2. What are the benefits and limitations of operationalizing a common program transformation framework across multiple sites?
    1. In particular, how does the NIC structure, implemented within sites and across sites, impact efforts at operationalizing program transformation?
    2. In particular, how does the KGMS, implemented within sites and across sites, enhance the generation of new knowledge and the application of that knowledge to support efforts at operationalizing program transformation?

The driver diagram for NIC-Transform is shared with that of the Transformations Working Group:

Who We Are

W. Gary Martin, PI, Auburn University

Wendy M. Smith, PI, University of Nebraska

Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, Co-PI, University of Kentucky

Mark Ellis, Senior Personnel, California State University, Fullerton

Dana Franz, Senior Personnel, Mississippi State University

Opportunities for Engagement

As NIC-Transform efforts scale up, we will actively seek additional collaborators in the form of local teams dedicated to secondary mathematics teacher preparation program transformation. The Transformation Working Group page on the MTE-Partnership website has many helpful suggestions for getting started with such efforts.

Resources

(copied from Transformations monograph chapter)

Recommended Readings for Stakeholders Interested in Program Transformation

Martin, W. G., Lischka, A. E., Smith, W. M., & Lawler, B. R. (Eds.) (2020). The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership: The power of a networked improvement community to transform secondary mathematics teacher preparation. Volume 4 in B. Benken (Ed.), Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Professional Book Series. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. https://amte.net/content/mathematics-teacher-education-partnership-power-networked-improvement-community-transform

Chapter 2 of this volume focuses particularly on program transformation efforts.

Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. (2017). Standards for the preparation of teachers of mathematics. Raleigh, NC: Author. https://amte.net/sites/default/files/SPTM.pdf

Elrod, S., & Kezar, A. (2016). Increasing student success in STEM: A guide to systemic institutional change. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities. https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/publications/increasing-student-success-stem-guide-systemic-institutional

Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. (2012). The mathematical education of teachers II. Providence, RI and Washington, DC: American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America. https://www.cbmsweb.org/archive/MET2/met2.pdf

Bryk, A. S., Gomez, L., Grunow, Al., & LeMahieu, P. (2015). Learning to improve: How America's schools can get better at getting better. Boston: Harvard Education Publishing. https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/resources/publications/learning-to-improve/

Strutchens, M. E., Huang, R., Potari, D., & Losano, L. (Eds.). (2018). Educating prospective secondary mathematics teachers: Knowledge, identity, and pedagogical practices. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319910581
Martin, W. G., & Gobstein, H. (2015). Generating a networked improvement community to improve secondary mathematics teacher preparation: Network leadership, organization, and operation. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(5), 482-493. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487115602312