Mathematics Professional Development: Critical Features for Developing Leadership Skills and Building Teachers’ Capacity

Karen Koellner, Jennifer Jacobs, Hilda Borko

Abstract


This article focuses on three features of professional development (PD) programs that
play an important role in developing leadership skills and building teachers’
capacity: (1) fostering a professional learning community, (2) developing teachers’
mathematical knowledge for teaching, and (3) adapting PD to support local needs
and interests. We draw from our current research on scaling up the Problem-Solving
Cycle (PSC) model of PD to illustrate how we worked with novice teacher leaders to
incorporate each of these features as they learned to facilitate the PSC in their schools.
In addition, we illustrate how the teacher leaders took each feature into account in a
particular PSC workshop. This article contributes to our understanding of PD
features that can impact leadership skill and teacher capacity. Further, we conjecture
that these features are critical to the scalability and sustainability of a wide variety of
mathematics PD efforts.

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