Putting Educational Innovations into Practice.

CSU MTE-P News 15(2) - October 23, 2015

The CSU MTE-P Newsletter serves as a vehicle to keep CSU MTE-Partnership sites informed of CSU and APLU MTE-Partnership events and opportunities, as well as to share our statewide work related to Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation.

Vol. 15, No. 2
October 23, 2015

Table of Contents

  1. Mark your calendars / Reminders
  2. June, 2015 APLU MTE-Partnership national meeting report
  3. CSU Measures group update
  4. CSU team reports - MODULES^2 RAC
  5. APLU MTE-Partnership updates
  6. RAC updates
  7. Notes

1. Mark your Calendars / Reminders

  • November, 2015 – Measures group: expect a check-in from Mark Ellis
  • January 27, 2016 – CSU MTE-P Convening, (location TBD, near Irvine, CA)
  • June 10, 2016 – Fifth Annual APLU MTE-Partnership Conference, San Antonio, TX (date and location tentative)

2. June, 2015 APLU MTE-Partnership national meeting report

The APLU Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-Partnership) provides a coordinated research, development, and implementation effort for secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs to promote research and best practices in the field.

The conference highlighted the progress of the national partnership and provided opportunities for local teams to become further engaged in the core work of their Research Action Cluster (RAC). RACs made substantial progress, having time to meet face-to-face and plan for their Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles as well as discuss plans to seek external funding.

Conference evaluations were very positive — 100% agreed that the conference was worthwhile (82% strongly agreed). PowerPoints from the conference are available, including both Deborah Ball’s and Jim Lewis’ keynote as well as the various general sessions.

The conference was an important opportunity for the CSU MTE-P community to come together, share practices, and discuss preparation of our future secondary mathematics teachers.

3. CSU Measures group update

The CSU MTE-Partnership Measures Group was formed with the initial charge to explicate what a well-prepared new secondary mathematics teacher completing a CSU program should know and be able to do, and to explore measures that support that definition.

The Measures Group had a first meeting on January 30, 2015, to launch its efforts. On this date, the Measures Group developed a list of attributes describing the well-prepared secondary mathematics teacher (SMT). Subgroups were formed to investigate instruments to assess candidate progress/outcomes in five areas. A vision statement was drafted and later refined. This vision statement is available here.

During Spring 2015, the subgroups investigated instruments to assess these outcomes. The CSU Measures Group reconvened at the APLU MTE-Partnership national meeting in Fullerton, CA, on June 21, 2015. Discussion at that meeting included:

  • Edits and updates to the CSU MTEP faculty vision for "The Well-Prepared Teacher of Secondary Mathematics";
  • Plans to pilot a common observation protocol for secondary mathematics teacher candidates;
  • Results of a survey about capstone courses for Math SMPPs to which 14 campuses responded and how these will inform plans to design a common task for use in these courses; and
  • Involvement of CSU MTEP faculty in revising the CSU credential completer exit survey including the insertion of items specific to teachers of mathematics.

The Measures working group plans to have an informal check-in sometime during November 2015.  If you¹d like more information about these efforts contact Mark Ellis <>.

4. CSU team reports - focus on MODULES^2

Several of our colleagues have begun activity in the Mathematics of Doing, Understanding, Learning and Educating for Secondary Schools (MODULES^2) RAC. This RAC has four subgroups each developing a module that focuses on building candidates’ deep understanding of the mathematics they will be asked to teach while engaging them in the Standards for Mathematical Practice. The module topic contents are transformational geometry, mathematical modeling, statistics, and algebra.

CSU Monterey Bay is piloting the Geometry modules this Fall. Lipika Deka is using all the three modules as a full course for the math major with a teaching concentration. She has been working closely with Emina Alibegovic, lead person for this module, and have already created class lectures based on their recommendation. Lipika reports to be super excited about piloting this course and incorporating e-portfolio that will be developed by each student throughout the semester. The inquiry based approach with technology use seems like a good fit for CSUMB. She reports the main challenge is having a larger class of 25 instead of 10-15 that the course was initially designed for. As a part of the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle, she is making changes to accommodate her context. She has found that the course material for the modules have been developed well and it is easy to adopt.

CSU Long Beach will be offering a mathematical modeling course for pre-service secondary mathematics teachers during the 2016-2017 academic year. The course will be co-developed and co-instructed by a mathematics educator (TBD) and an applied mathematician, Jen-Mei Chang. They will make use of and contribute to MODULE(S)^2 mathematical modeling materials.

CSU San Marcos also plans to pilot materials of the modeling group. Brian R Lawler will partner with a teacher from his district team (Chris Davis from Vista Unified SD) to run a free workshop for teachers on Saturdays during Spring 2016. We initially hoped to run this workshop during the summer as a component of a Secondary Math Methods class to help practicing teachers add a Secondary Math Certification, however, feedback from our local teachers indicated little interest in one more summer workshop – many are involved in district sponsored work. Brian is also contributing to a grant proposal to evaluate and refine the modules as they are piloted.

CSU Chico plans for similar piloting of the Statistics materials. Mary Elizabeth Matthews teaches a Statistics for pre-service teachers course in the spring. She has recently joined the developmental work of the Statistics group.

5. APLU MTE-Partnership updates

At present, the Partnership's membership includes 39 teams across 31 states comprised of 103 universities, university systems, and community colleges; 142 K-12 schools and school districts; and several state departments of education, education consortia and other education-focused organizations. The Partnership endeavors to:

  • Build a national consensus on guiding principles for the preparation of mathematics teachers;
  • Promote partnerships among all sectors throughout the teacher development process;
  • Develop and coordinate a networked research and development agenda;
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for model programs and practices; and
  • Advocate for change at university, state and national levels.

The MTE-Partnership has received more than $1.5 million in foundation support. Currently, leadership continue to explore further support to maintain the support of the community’s hub, including support for RAC gatherings and attendance to the annual conference.

A current project of the hub is to develop an online communications platform for MTE-P and RAC collaborations. This site, Trellis – supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), when fully established, should serve all MTE-P members as a single location for communications and resources.

Work for this fall incudes starting to draft a strategy for institutional transformational; watch for requests for your input. Also, they are working on a “state of the partnership” update to share with our partners, institutional leaders, funding agencies, and the world.

6. RAC updates

MTE-Ps most significant event in the past months has been the formation of a new RAC, launched at the APLU MTE-Partnership national meeting in Fullerton, CA. The group is named STRIDES: Secondary Teacher Retention & Induction in Diverse Educational Settings.

  • STRIDES – has two goals, (1) To determine a set of principles that should guide the design and implementation of interventions for inducting, developing, and retaining effective secondary mathematics teachers; and (2) For university teacher preparation program/school district partners to have specific action plans for implementing one or more proposed interventions: (a) creating professional learning opportunities for administrators, (b) creating effective systems of communication, (c) creating professional learning communities for early career teachers, and (d) developing pathways for long-term professional growth.

    The group has developed their driver diagram and named their improvement target: By July 1, 2022, assure that at least 85% of those completing MTE-P programs and employed in partner school districts begin a third year of employment as a mathematics educator.

    The group met October 17-18, 2015 in Millbrae, CA to develop principles and design interventions. The initial Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles were set in motion at this weekend’s meeting.

    Twelve universities and partnered districts are involved in this RAC, including 6 of our own, Channel Islands, Los Angeles, Monterey Bay, San Diego State, San Francisco State, and Sonoma State. Lead: Lisa Krause, University of Kentucky; James Martinez, Channel Islands; and Megan Taylor, Sonoma State.

    Follow this link for more information about STRIDES.
  • MODULE(S)^2 - writing teams are working to finalize usable, unit-long modules for those who teach mathematics courses for prospective mathematics teachers, in the areas of transformational geometry, modeling, and statistics (an algebra module is less far along). At present, geometry modules are being piloted for a third time and the statistics and modeling groups each have two modules in the initial stages. At present the RAC leaders are revising with intent to resubmit a grant to IUSE to evaluate each of the modules. Lead: Emina Alibegovic, University of Utah.
  • Clinical Experiences - is developing innovative models for clinical experiences that are aligned with college- and career-ready standards. Presently, they are developing three models: (a) Activity modules for methods courses that include early field experiences; (b) a Paired-placement student teaching model in which two student teachers are placed with one mentor teacher; and (c) a Co-planning/co-teaching student teaching model which emphasizes collaborative teaching. The group has extended invitations to other MTE-P institutions to pilot these structures. They have also submitted a grant proposal to fund research examining the effectiveness of the models. Lead: Marilyn Strutchens, Auburn University.
  • MATH (Marketing to Attract Teaching Hopefuls) – is refining approaches to improve the recruitment of secondary mathematics teacher candidates. In addition to creating and collecting examples of recruitment strategies, tactics, and products utilized at member sites, the RAC is creating a teacher recruitment implementation guide that addresses nine components for developing and managing a teacher recruitment campaign. This has been released as an “initial version,” available for use by all MTE-P participating institution. The RAC currently is working to refine this guide into a true electronic document with sample tools used at different institutions. Lead: Ed Dickey, University of South Carolina.
  • Active Learning - is focusing on improving instruction in precalculus and calculus as a way to retain and better prepare more students in secondary mathematics as well as other STEM majors. Recently the group released a collection of developed materials, although in “beta” stage, because there was substantial interest from groups inside and outside the RAC. These resources can be found online at the CU Boulder Active Learning website. Lead: David Webb, University of Colorado.
  • KTMT (Knowledge-for-Teaching-Mathematics Tasks) - decided to terminate its project to create valid and reliable assessments that align with the specific recommendations in METII.

7. Notes

  • ICME Topic Study Group 48 is concerned with the pre-service mathematics education of secondary teachers. The group is co-chaired by Rongjin Huang <> Marilyn E. Strutchens <>. More information can be found at the TSG 48 website.
  • AMTE is drafting a document describing the “well-started beginning mathematics teachers.” This will be launched at their next AMTE conference, January 28-30, 2016 in Irvine, CA.
  • APLU MTE-P is sharing a PDSA template to support thinking through and planning a PDSA cycle.


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