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Development of Practical Measures for Improving the Quality of Mathematics Classroom Practice

The proposed project builds on an eight-year design-research RPP focused on improving middle-grades mathematics instruction between Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS; Louisville, KY) and researchers in mathematics education and leadership/policy. We have jointly identified the pressing need for practical measures that can be used to assess and leverage improvement in the quality of discourse across mathematics classrooms. The need to improve discourse is acute with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and associated state assessments. In contrast to typical research measures, practical measures are undemanding to implement, and thus can be used frequently. Furthermore, the resulting data can be analyzed rapidly so that participants can receive prompt feedback on their progress. The proposed activities involve design research cycles in which we will jointly 1) construct a set of instruments; 2) establish routines for collecting and analyzing data; and 3) develop data representations tailored to the needs of different groups of practitioners. In addition to contributing to JCPS’ capacity for instructional improvement, the project will produce practical measures that will be used by other RPPs, as well as knowledge regarding how to design and implement practical measures that focus squarely on classroom instruction.

Grantor: Spencer Foundation

Expected completion date: 10/31/17

Project or Grant: Grant
Date Span: November 01, 2015 to October 31, 2017
Principal Investigators: Paul Cobb
Academic Department: Teaching and Learning

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