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Oregon Mathematics Leadership Institute Partnership

Overview:

Oregon State University (OSU), in partnership with Teachers Development Group (TDG), Portland State University (PSU) and ten school districts and supporting partners George Fox University and five community colleges ( Central Oregon, Chemeketa, Clackamas, Mt. Hood, and Umpqua) is developing the Oregon Mathematics Leadership Institute to create a sustainable and generative leadership capacity within all core partner K-20 institutions to provide support for systemic mathematics reform and to meet the following goals: 1) increase mathematics achievement of all students in core partner schools; 2) close achievement gaps for underrepresented groups of students; 3) provide challenging mathematics coursework that support state and national standards through coherent evidence-based programs. To achieve these goals, the project is deepening participating mathematics teachers' mathematical content knowledge and enhancing both mathematics teachers' and administrators' practice, professional efficacy, commitment to, and retention in the profession.

The Partnership is developing a cadre of teacher leaders in mathematics who are part of a larger reflective learning community that includes university faculty, graduate students, community college faculty, school administrators, and other mathematics education professionals. Activities include: 1) a series of three-week residential summer Mathematics Leadership Institutes for K-5 mathematics specialists and middle school/high school mathematics teachers emphasizing rigorous and relevant mathematics content, leadership development, and effective pedagogy, 2) the coordination of online and on-site academic year activities for building a statewide learning community of K-20 professionals, and 3) provision of an infrastructure for sustaining and regenerating this professional community and disseminating its expertise and resources. The core academic work in the summer institutes consists of substantive mathematical content courses using instructional models that emphasize the reflective discourse and collaborative problem solving embraced by challenging school mathematics curricula. These mathematics courses are developed by higher education disciplinary faculty working together with master teachers and district leaders and are based on the teacher preparation recommendations of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. Mathematics coursework is complemented by daily seminars/colloquia on leadership skill development, recent research in pedagogy, alternative assessment techniques, evidence-based evaluation, and current applications of mathematics. Academic year activities (both onsite and online) are intended to foster reflective discourse, collaborative research and evidence-based evaluation efforts among all K-20 partners in the learning community. The involvement of community college mathematics faculty in both the summer institute and academic year components of the project is building leadership capacity among these faculty and facilitating preservice teacher recruitment among more diverse populations of college students. Involvement of preservice teachers in the summer institutes is facilitating mentoring relationships with participants and future practicum placements in schools using challenging curricula. Involvement of school administrators in components of the summer institutes provides a model for local school team building.