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MSP Conferences

NSF/ED MSP State Coordinators Meeting

Geoffrey Phelps, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Measures of Content Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics RETA
Measuring and Studying Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching
This session presented survey items designed to measure elementary and middle school teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching. During this session, the measures were presented along with results from a program of research designed to investigate the validity and reliability of these measures. Participants had an opportunity to raise and discuss practical issues faced in measuring teacher content knowledge and assessing its growth.

Terry Millar,
Bruce King,
Eunice Krinsky,
Mary Ramberg,
Margaret Smith,
Brian Smith

Mathematics Explanation Structures for Middle School Mathematics Teachers
The System-wide Change for All Learners and Educators (SCALE) partnership is a comprehensive NSF MSP.

The primary SCALE partnership includes three universities and four urban school districts representing approximately one million students and forty thousand teachers and faculty. SCALE depends on an expanding partnership that coordinates diverse financial, human, and social resources to improve student math and science understanding and performance. This session looked at some of the partnership's strategies used to improve and to judge the improvement of, what is traditionally called the mathematical content and pedagogical content knowledge of middle school mathematics teachers.

P. Sean Smith, Horizon Research

Evaluating Professional Development: A New Tool for Assessing Impacts on Teacher Knowledge for Science Teaching
This session described ATLAST's approach to developing assessments of knowledge for science teaching. Participants became familiar with three different types of assessment items and had an opportunity to examine assessments for science teachers in three content areas - force and motion, plate tectonics, and flow of matter and energy in living systems. The session provided time for participants to talk with each other and the presenter about different approaches to assessing knowledge for science teaching.

Sheila Jones,
Ronald Henry,
Jan Kettlewell,
Vannie Walker

Building Sustainable Partnerships
The presentation by the Georgia Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics (PRISM) examined the elements of building effective partnerships that include state government, K-12 schools, and higher education institutions. Presenters detailed the collaborative approach used by the PRISM initiative to blend existing councils and newly formed P-16 learning communities into one partnership designed to carry out the objectives of a statewide science and mathematics reform effort.

Mary Kennedy, Michigan State University

Causal Inference in Instructional Workforce Research RETA
How does teacher knowledge really enhance teaching practice?
In this breakout session, we described findings from a RETA project that focuses on the relationship between indicators of teacher knowledge (such as educational background and test scores) and the quality of teaching practice as indicated by either observations or student achievement. We presented some preliminary findings and sought audience discussion about the meaning of these findings.

Paul Eakin, Richard Millman, Jeff Osborn, John Yopp

Appalachian MSP
AMSP's Partnership Enhancement Program for Local Empowerment between IHEs and School Districts
The Appalachian Mathematics and Science partnership (AMSP) has developed and implemented over the past two years a grant-supported, peer reviewed program of partnerships between district school teachers and administrators and higher education faculty called Partnership Enhancement Projects (PEPs). Key success factors in this model program of local empowerment are the use of dedicated math and science outreach tenured full professors and on site, regional program coordinators. The nature of this partnership model was discussed by AMSP's two outreach professors and its project director.

Marilyn Carlson

Project Pathways, MSP
Assessing Concept Knowledge and Teacher Beliefs in Secondary Mathematics
This session provided an overview of two research-based assessment tools. The first, the Precalculus Concept Assessment (PCA), has been used to assess both students' and teachers' understanding of function, the central concept of algebra and precalculus. The instrument has been refined and validated through the use with more than 700 students and instructors at both the secondary and entering undergraduate levels. The second instrument is the Views About Mathematics Survey (VAMS). The VAMS is a similarly well-tested instrument used to ascertain the attitudes and beliefs teachers and students hold about mathematics. Session participants were introduced to the theoretical frameworks supporting PCA and VAMS, the history of the instruments' development, and the range of research and practice applications in which PCA and VAMS have proven useful.

Doris Kimbrough,
Barbara Bath

Teacher Content Knowledge - A Mile High: How do we effectively assess and enhance teacher content knowledge
The RM-MSMSP used several different instruments to probe the content knowledge of our middle school math and science teachers before and after their participation in professional development coursework. This session focused on what tools we used, how we selected them and how effective they proved to be. Participants had the opportunity to practice analysis and development of science and math content-focused questions that are linked to instructional practice.

Rolf Blank, CCSSO

Longitudinal Design RETA
Tools for Evaluating Effects of Professional Development on Improving Instruction: Results from an MSP-RETA Study
The CCSSO MSP-RETA study is analyzing the degree of change in math and science instruction that can be attributed to professional development supported by four MSP programs. The session presentation and discussion focused on initial findings, tools for measuring instruction and quality of professional development, and design for analyzing change over time.