SESSION 4A (Featured Session, Research)“Research on Mathematics Teacher Turnover: Learning from a 4-year Professional Development Intervention

– Axelle Faughn, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, Western Carolina University 

This presentation provides a window on opportunities and challenges researchers face when examining the intricate decisions mathematics teachers make about their career path. A review of the most current literature on Mathematics Teacher Retention will lead into the sharing of findings from the CMP-STIR project, including an overview of papers to be given by different CMP-STIR sites during MTRS. Related models of professional development that support mathematics teachers in their work will be discussed, together with implications for further research.About the Featured Speaker

SESSION 4B (Mathematics Content and Pedagogy): Gains in teacher and student math content knowledge in the Imperial Valley ” 

– Jeffrey Burt, Research Associate, Imperial Valley Mathematics Project/STRIVE

Co-Speaker: Marco Arellano, Mathematics Teacher, Kennedy Middle School

STRIVE is a program aimed at increasing retention of secondary math teachers in the Imperial Valley. It focused on increasing math content knowledge and pedagogy through summer institutes and follow up meetings throughout the year. In summer 2009, STRIVE teachers taught in a summer math academy for middle school students. This session will report the increases in teacher math content knowledge as measured by the LMT. Also included will be our ongoing study of math content gains for students who participated in the 2009 summer academy.

SESSION 4C (Models of Support): Building a Community of Secondary Urban Mathematics Teachers: Project Final Report” 

– John Wilkins, Professor, California State University, Dominguez Hills/Director, CSU Dominguez Hills Mathematics Project

Co-Speaker: Deandrea Murrey, Associate Professor, California State University, Dominguez Hills, School of Education
Odette Board, Secondary Math Expert, Los Angeles Unified School District Local District 8

This presentation is a report of a five-year professional development project at California State University, Dominguez Hills to retain new teachers in LAUSD Local Districts Six and Eight. An overview of the project goals and activities will be presented, including the work with technology. Teacher leaders were identified during the first three years of the project and incorporated in years four and five as teacher mentors in the summer institutes. The effectiveness of the project as described by survey and pre-post test data will be discussed. Finally, conclusions and recommendations will be proposed.

SESSION 4D (Teacher Leadership): Creating a Coaching Cadre: Empowering Teachers to become Mathematics Coaches to Support Teachers 

– Panel Moderator: Pamela Hutchison, Director, UC Davis Mathematics Project
Co-Moderator: Debbie Stetson, Director, CSU Sacramento Mathematics Project

Panelists: Clay Dagler, Teacher, Luther Burbank High School
Susan Haren, Teacher, Sam Brennan Middle School/Research Associate, CSU Sacramento Mathematics Project STIR
Marla Tjoelker, Teacher, Heron School

The benefit of a mathematics coach is to facilitate a teacher’s strengths and how to use those strengths to address weaknesses. Pam Hutchison,UC Davis MP Director, along with three Coaching Cadre participating teacher leaders, will discuss the successes and challenges of the Coaching Cadre in Sacramento schools. Topics will include: the creation and development of the cadre, preparing and training the teachers to build a trusting relationship valued by the classroom teacher, and a description of a process which helps build that trust. Also discussed will be the challenges of the teacher leaders in working with their district leadership.

SESSION 4E (Policy): Towards an Empirically-Grounded Theory of Action for Improving the Quality of Mathematics Teaching at Scale” 

– Erin Henrick, Research Associate, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

Co-Speaker: Brooks Rosenquist, Graduate Research Assistant, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

Teacher retention is associated with a sense of efficacy and accomplishment in the classroom. Current research provides limited guidance to district leaders on establishing ambitious and equitable instructional practice at scale. This presentation reports an investigation of supports for mathematics teachers’ ongoing learning that are designed to enable them to develop ambitious and equitable instructional practices. Collaborating with mathematics teachers, school leaders, and district leaders in four large urban school districts, our team makes periodic data-based recommendations concerning district policy and strategies for instruction improvement, addressing learning communities, coaching, curricular frameworks, and other forms of professional development.

SESSION 4F (Teacher Leadership): Empowering Teacher Leaders as Facilitators of Lesson Study Groups” 

– Mike Chamberlain, Mathematics Teacher, Caruthers High School

Co-Speakers: Baljit Gill, Teacher, Caruthers High School

This session will provide insight into Lesson Study from the teachers’ perspective. Teachers will share their experiences from a professional development program focused on integrating alternative instructional approaches for mathematics classrooms utilizing the Lesson Study process. Collaboratively designed lessons, such as, “F-16′ s and 30-60-90 triangles,” will be shared as teachers describe personal changes made in their beliefs about how mathematics should be taught, how they viewed themselves as educators both before and after program participation, and the role that developing leadership skills has in institutionalizing change at the school site and district levels.