The Southern Virginia Elementary Mathematics Coalition to Enhance Student Achievement through Teacher Professional Development, 2015-18.
The Virginia Department of Education announced the funding of this project in May 2015. It is a collaborative effort among The College of William and Mary, Longwood University and the Coalition. The College of William and Mary serves as the lead institution. The grant targets mathematics instruction in grades K-5 at five schools. Throughout the three year period, The College of William and Mary and Longwood University will develop and provide professional development days for mathematics instructors in grades K-5. Each participating elementary school will choose teachers to serve on a school mathematics leadership team. Each team member will take five graduate mathematics courses and three graduate mathematics education courses offered by the College of William and Mary and Longwood University. (These courses were previously developed by NSF grants for mathematics specialists.) Old Dominion University engineering faculty will work with the College of William and Mary faculty and Longwood University faculty to develop lessons for grades K-5 teachers that integrate STEM. These lessons will be integrated into the professional development programs for each of the five schools.
The Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center, 2014-15.
The center was funded by VDOE-MSP grants and served a total of 128 secondary mathematics teachers in 2014-2015. The offerings included seven graduate-level mathematics courses provided through a partnership among Radford University and Virginia Commonwealth University and the coalition. Additionally, 16 mathematics teachers participated in a two-week Simulation-Based Mathematics Teacher Professional Development Program offered at the NASA Langley Research Center. Results were overwhelmingly positive with respect to increases in teachers’ content mastery of mathematics, and MSP teachers reported that they received the necessary knowledge, resources, and networking opportunities they needed. This perception was supported by statistically significant increases between pre- and post-test assessments for students of MSP Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry teachers in 2014 and 2015. It was also supported by positive observations of MSP teachers in their classrooms which documented proficiency in classroom discourse, rigor, and management. School administrators and MSP teachers were largely satisfied with the grant efforts. Suggestions for improvement included a) scheduling courses so they do not conflict with teacher responsibilities, b) increased use of technology in course implementation, c) more balanced rigor across courses, d) and better student-instructor communication channels.