Teachers, tasks, and tensions: lessons from a research–practice partnership
- 1k Downloads
How teachers make sense of new academic standards significantly shapes the implementation of those standards. Professional development organized around the analysis of mathematical tasks has potential to prepare teachers for standards implementation by helping them develop common understandings of standards and how to help students meet ambitious new learning goals. In practice, however, designers and participants bring different goals to the professional development context, which becomes evident when teachers engage in task analysis. In this article, we use the design tensions framework (Tatar in Human Comput Interact 22(4):413–451, 2007. doi: 10.1080/07370020701638814) to analyze these tensions within a research–practice partnership comprised of five university researchers, three district curriculum leaders from a large urban school district, 12 high school Algebra 1 teachers from nine schools in the district, and a small team of Web engineers. Primary data for the study consist of participant observation and field notes of meetings in which project stakeholders negotiated the design of the professional development, as well as interview and survey data. An analysis based on the design tensions framework helped our partnership surface, both in the moment and retrospectively, the need for designers of professional development focused on standards implementation to be adaptive and willing to evolve activities to satisfy multiple stakeholders’ goals for participation.
KeywordsMathematical tasks Design tensions Professional development Standards implementation
This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Award #1147590). The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NSF. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2014, and the authors thank the International Society of the Learning Sciences for permitting the reuse and further development of that manuscript.
- Boston, M. D., & Smith, M. S. (2009). Transforming secondary mathematics teaching: Increasing the cognitive demands of instructional tasks used in teachers’ classrooms. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 40(2), 119–156.Google Scholar
- Brown, M. W. (2009). The teacher-tool relationship: Theorizing the design and use of curriculum materials. In J. T. Remillard, B. A. Herbel-Eisenmann, & G. M. Lloyd (Eds.), Mathematics teachers at work: Connecting curriculum materials and classroom instruction (pp. 17–36). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Coburn, C. E., Penuel, W. R., & Geil, K. E. (2013). Research-practice partnerships: A strategy for leveraging research for educational improvement in school districts. New York, NY. Retrieved from https://www.dropbox.com/s/mb45r0dhvweyv9o/Research-Practice-Partnerships-at-the-District-Level.pdf.
- Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Common core state standards for mathematics. Retrieved from http://corestandards.org/the-standards/mathematics.
- Davis, J., Choppin, J., Roth McDuffie, A., & Drake, C. (2013). Common core state standards for mathematics: Middle school mathematics teachers’ perceptions. Rochester, NY. Retrieved from http://www.warner.rochester.edu/files/warnercenter/docs/commoncoremathreport.pdf.
- Gravemeijer, K., & Cobb, P. (2013). Design research from the learning design perspective. In T. Plomp & N. Nieveen (Eds.), Educational design research (pp. 72–113). Enschende: Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development (SLO).Google Scholar
- Hill, H. C. (2006). Language matters: How characteristics of language complicate policy implementation. In M. I. Honig (Ed.), New directions in education policy implementation: Confronting complexity (pp. 65–82). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
- Jackson, K., & Cobb, P. (2013). Coordinating professional development across contexts and role groups. In M. Evans (Ed.), Teacher education and pedagogy: Theory, policy and practice (pp. 80–99). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Lee, V. R., Leary, H. M., Sellers, L., & Recker, M. (2014). The role of school district science coordinators in the district-wide appropriation of an online resource discovery and sharing tool for teachers. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 23(3), 309–323. doi: 10.1007/s10956-013-9465-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McLaughlin, M., Glaab, L., & Carrasco, I. H. (2014). Implementing common core state standards in California: A report from the field. Retrieved from http://www.edpolicyinca.org/publications/implementing-common-core-state-standards-california-report-field.
- Moschkovich, J. N. (2012). Mathematics, the common core, and language. Understanding language: Language, literacy, and learning in the content areas. Retrieved from http://ell.stanford.edu/publication/mathematics-common-core-and-language.
- Severance, S., Leary, H., & Johnson, R. (2014). Tensions in a multi-tiered research-practice partnership. In J. L. Polman, E. A. Kyza, K. O’Neill, I. Tabak, W. R. Penuel, A. S. Jurow, … L. D’Amico (Eds.), Learning and becoming in practice: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2014, Vol. 2 (pp. 1171–1175). Boulder, CO: International Society of the Learning Sciences.Google Scholar
- Solano-Flores, G. (2010). Function and form in research on language and mathematics education. In J. N. Moschkovich (Ed.), Language and mathematics in education: Multiple perspectives and directions for research (pp. 113–149). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
- Spillane, J. P. (2004). Standards deviation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Stein, M. K., & Kim, G. (2009). The role of mathematics curriculum materials in large-scale urban reform: An analysis of demands and opportunities for teacher learning. In J. T. Remillard, B. A. Herbel-Eisenmann, & G. M. Lloyd (Eds.), Mathematics teachers at work: Connecting curriculum materials and classroom instruction (pp. 37–55). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Stein, M. K., & Lane, S. (1996). Instructional tasks and the development of student capacity to think and reason: An analysis of the relationship between teaching and learning in a reform mathematics project. Educational Research and Evaluation, 2(1), 50–80. doi: 10.1080/1380361960020103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stein, M. K., Smith, M. S., Henningsen, M. A., & Silver, E. A. (2009). Implementing standards-based mathematics instruction: A casebook for professional development (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Sumner, T. (2010). Customizing science instruction with educational digital libraries. In Proceedings of the 10th annual joint conference on digital libraries (JCDL 2010) (pp. 353–356). Gold Coast, Australia. doi: 10.1145/1816123.1816178.
- Zhao, Q., Visnovska, J., & McClain, K. (2004). Using design research to support the learning of professional teaching community of middle-school mathematics teachers. In D. E. McDougall & J. A. Ross (Eds.), Proceedings of the 26th annual meeting of the North American chapter of the international group for the psychology of mathematics education (pp. 969–975). Toronto, ON. Retrieved from http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:241878.