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Strategy Building system capacity


The following strategies have been found effective, separately or in combination as part of an overall plan for improving mathematics instruction and learning:
  • Start Small and Grow
  • Strategy Giving Professional Development More Impact key is that teacher growth is enhanced when professional development is grounded in specific classroom practices. Both assessment tasks and specific curriculum units can provide foci for effective professional development activities that impacts classrooms directly. A review of research on professional development suggests we need to make a shift in focus. This approach can provide the foundation for a comprehensive and systematic strategy of Strategy assessment-led improvement.
  • Professional Development for Changing Mathematics Teaching and Learning: A Two or More Year Plan for Curriculum Implementation: The adjustment to using a new curriculum requires support for teachers, students, and parents during the transition period. This strategy offers guidance to develop a multi-year plan that provides for continual development of all teachers’ mathematical knowledge, teaching skills, and understanding of student learning. This approach can provide the foundation for a comprehensive and systematic Strategy curriculum-led improvement strategy
  • Implementing an NSF Curriculum Project: Professional Development for Year One The standards-based curriculum projects redefine the work and expectations of both teachers and students. Teachers need help and support to understand the non-traditional instructional model that is embedded in many of these new materials as well as acquiring additional mathematical and pedagogical knowledge to address curriculum content. This strategy offers suggestions for getting started during the first year of implementation.
  • Connecting with Tool Curriculum Implementation Support Centers: The National Science Foundation funded four centers to support districts implementing NSF mathematics curriculum programs aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards. The centers offer a variety of services from curriculum selection, to alignment, to implementation strategies and plans. Some of the centers also provide print resources.

Applicable tools

Each of the specific strategies listed is based on the
Tool Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
and the central tools for their implementation in school systems are
Tool Standards-based mathematics curricula and
Tool Standards-based assessment.

In addition each strategy involves other specific tools.

Planning essentials

While these strategic initiatives involves seizing opportunities for building capacity where they appear, each requires careful and realistic planning if it is to contribute to a coherent Strategy long and short term plan.

Challenges addressed

Complementary strategies