Beginning teachers can easily implement these strategies to increase student achievement.
Evthokia Stephanie Saclarides and Juan Manuel Gerardo
Evthokia Stephanie Saclarides and Kristin E. Harbour
In Systems for Instructional Improvement: Creating Coherence from the Classroom to the District Office, Paul Cobb, Kara Jackson, Erin Henrick, Thomas M. Smith, and their colleagues showcase a long-term professional development project titled Middle School Mathematics and the Institutional Setting of Teaching (MIST). The MIST Project included an extensive team of researchers who engaged in a Research-Practice Partnership with teachers, instructional leaders, and administrators from four urban school districts for multiple years (two districts for 4 years and two districts for 8 years). The overarching purpose of this project, based on mutual goals of the school districts and the research team, was to “take a broad perspective that spans from the classroom to the district central office” (p. 3) to understand how to most effectively “support teachers’ development of ambitious and equitable instructional practices” (p. 2). More specifically, the MIST team had two types of goals: pragmatic and research. Their pragmatic goal was to assist the four partner school districts with their instructional improvement objectives by engaging in annual cycles of data collection, analysis, and feedback to help district leaders understand the extent to which the district's instructional improvement strategies were being implemented as intended and to make recommendations for revising the improvement strategies. Their research goal was to identify effective improvement strategies that districts can implement to improve mathematics teaching and learning on a large scale.
Evthokia Stephanie Saclarides and Sarah Theule Lubienski
Coaching is a popular, yet costly, professional development structure. Therefore, understanding the learning opportunities coaching provides is essential. Following a framework by Campbell and Griffin (2017), we explore five elementary school teachers’ learning opportunities during 15 meetings and 23 lessons with two instructional coaches in two schools. Using Greeno’s (2005) situative perspective, we focus on coach–teacher dyads, examining the substance and depth (Coburn, 2003) of their conversations. Results indicate that most coach–teacher talk centered on logistics, whereas mathematics conversations were rare. We consider institutional contexts that shaped the dyads’ discussions, ultimately viewing the coaches and teachers as “sensible beings" (Leatham, 2006) with valid reasons for focusing discussions as they did. Coaching implications and directions for research are discussed.