In this article, we report on Researching Mathematics Leader Learning (RMLL), a project designed to support leaders in learning how to facilitate robust opportunities for teachers’ mathematical learning. Our two-phase research design allowed us to construct a set of videocase seminars, enact the seminar design with leaders, analyze these data, refine our seminar design, and implement a second set of seminars with a new group of leaders. We drew on the noticing literature to examine leaders’ pedagogical reasoning as they discussed videocases of professional development. In this article, we demonstrate how changes in our framework for leader development and the resulting changes in the prompts and tasks shaped leader noticing in three ways: (a) accounting for the mathematical work of the facilitator and teachers in the videocase; (b) linking the mathematical work to goals for teacher learning; and (c) reasoning around the facilitator’s work in advancing those learning goals. Analysis indicates that in Phase II, leader discussions were more focused on the mathematical and pedagogical work needed to advance teacher learning. Based on our research and development work with over 70 leaders, we offer a set of design principles for leader professional development.
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We use the term leader to mean a person who is tasked with facilitating teacher learning in schools, districts, or other professional learning opportunities.
Because we employed a modified version of LMT, it was not possible to compare z-scores, the standard method of score interpretation. Instead, we used raw scores to qualitatively assess the degree to which leader groups were comparable and identify other potential factors at play when noting differences in the discussions across or within leader groups.
While we collected between-cycle data on a subset of leaders, we do not report on their facilitation practices in this article.
One additional task, Staircase, was also used in both phases of the project. However, only Phase I leaders viewed a videocase centered on the task. In Phase II, leaders read a written case the project team constructed around the task.
Given our research questions and the themes that emerged in our qualitative analysis, these topics were most salient. Thus, statistics from other topics in our original coding (e.g., mathematics surface, mathematics examine meaning, status, confusion, engagement/disengagement and self-disclosure) are not reported.
In the In & Out Tables, videocase teachers examine the definition of function by considering different ways in which a table of values could be completed depending on the function rule.
In the Halving and Doubling videocase, teachers are working to justify the conjecture: When you multiply two numbers, you can cut one of the numbers in half and double the other number, and the product will be the same.
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The research reported here is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (ESI-0554186). Opinions expressed in this report are the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF. We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the journal editorial staff for their insightful critique of previous versions of the manuscript.
Rebekah Elliott and Elham Kazemi have contributed equally to this article.
See Table 5.
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Lesseig, K., Elliott, R., Kazemi, E. et al. Leader noticing of facilitation in videocases of mathematics professional development. J Math Teacher Educ 20, 591–619 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10857-016-9346-y