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Supporting instructional improvement at scale: The role of teacher professional development programs and mathematics curriculum materials
Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för utbildning, kultur och kommunikation, Utbildningsvetenskap och Matematik. (M-TERM)ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2964-6297
2016 (Engelska)Licentiatavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

We are currently witnessing an increase of international interest in mathematics education, fueled partly by the growing concerns of students’ declining results, but also by changed perceptions of what mathematics students should master. In response, many initiatives have appeared in order to move away from traditional to more inquiry based approaches to teaching. Though several small-scale studies have contributed much to our understanding on how to support teachers in this work, there is still a lack of research conducted on a larger scale. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to add to our knowledge of how to support instructional improvement at scale. This is done by focusing on two common approaches to support mathematics teachers’ development of reform based practices: teacher professional development [PD] programs and curriculum materials. The thesis builds on four papers which are all connected to a project aiming at improving the mathematics instruction in a large Swedish municipality. The project includes a PD-program for almost 400 elementary teachers and the mathematics curriculum materials that teachers are using play a central role in the program. The first two papers focus on curriculum materials either by using surveys to compare teachers’ views of the support offered in the materials and their reported mathematics instruction, or by conducting textbook analyses to characterize how some commonly used materials communicate about, for example, goals of lessons. The results demonstrate that teachers using different materials experience different levels of support from them and also show variations in their reported instruction. These differences are further reflected in the textbook analyses which show that the materials offer teachers various support, for example regarding how they communicate about goals. The last two papers focus on teacher PD-programs either by comparing the effects of two programs on student achievement, or by using surveys to examine teachers’ views of one of the programs and its impact on their reported instruction. The results indicate that the two PD-programs have affected students’ achievement in different ways, demonstrating both decline and improvement. Even within the programs differences are revealed between students at the primary and secondary levels. These variations are further present in the teacher surveys, where the results show differences between teachers from different grade-levels. By drawing on the literature review and the results of the papers, the thesis ends with a discussion of possible elaborations of a widely used core conceptual framework for studying teacher PD.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2016.
Serie
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 231
Nyckelord [en]
large-scale teacher professional development, core conceptual framework, mathematics curriculum materials, student achievement, mathematics instruction
Nationell ämneskategori
Didaktik
Forskningsämne
didaktik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31441ISBN: 978-91-7485-265-3 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31441DiVA, id: diva2:921655
Presentation
2016-06-08, Kappa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2016-04-21 Skapad: 2016-04-20 Senast uppdaterad: 2016-05-03Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. MATHEMATICS TEXTBOOKS’ IMPACT ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION: EXAMINING THE VIEWS OF 278 SWEDISH TEACHERS
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>MATHEMATICS TEXTBOOKS’ IMPACT ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION: EXAMINING THE VIEWS OF 278 SWEDISH TEACHERS
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Studies in Subject Didactics 10. Nordic Research in Mathematics Education - Proceedings of NORMA14, 2015, s. 215-225Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

For mathematics teachers to achieve an instruction where students have the opportunity to develop different mathematical competencies is difficult without access to adequate support. The most commonly used supportive tools are by far mathematics textbooks. However, in Sweden, there is very little research available on the characteristics of these materials. In this paper we aim to examine the relationship between teachers’ (K–6) perceived support from the curriculum materials and their mathematics instruction, looking for patterns associated with commonly used textbooks. Our analysis of teachers’ responses to a questionnaire (n=278) showed major differences regarding perceived support for teachers using different textbooks. This pattern was also evident when the teachers were to report about their mathematics instruction.

Nationell ämneskategori
Utbildningsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31447 (URN)978-952-5993-17-2 (ISBN)
Konferens
Nordic Research in Mathematics Education - Proceedings of NORMA14, Turku, June 3-6, 2014. Turku, Finland
Tillgänglig från: 2016-04-21 Skapad: 2016-04-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2016-12-27Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Designing elementary mathematics curriculum programs to accommodate a flexible use by a range of teachers
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Designing elementary mathematics curriculum programs to accommodate a flexible use by a range of teachers
Visa övriga...
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Nationell ämneskategori
Utbildningsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31448 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2016-04-21 Skapad: 2016-04-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2016-04-21Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Two large-scale professional development programs for mathematics teachers and their impact on student achievement
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Two large-scale professional development programs for mathematics teachers and their impact on student achievement
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, ISSN 1571-0068, E-ISSN 1573-1774, Vol. 5, nr 7, s. 1281-1301Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reports on two professional development programs for mathematics teachers and their effects on student achievement. The projects’ design and their implementation within a larger municipality in Sweden, working together with over 90 teachers and 5000 students in elementary school, are described by using a set of core critical features of teacher professional development as identified in the research literature. Data on student achievement were collected at the beginning of the projects as well as one year after their implementation. The results demonstrate a significant interaction effect between year and intervention for grades 2, 8, and 9. Upon a closer examination of the descriptive statistics, the first project points at slight improvements for students in grade 2, while the results for grades 8 and 9 indicate a declining trend. The results for the second project are markedly different and indicate an improvement for student achievement in grades 8 and 9, while the results for grade 2 suggest a deterioration. Considering that both projects are conducted within the same context and are very similar when it comes to several of the critical features of professional development as identified in the research literature, these variances in results are noteworthy. Therefore, building on a closer examination of the projects’ critical features, the Swedish educational context, and results from teacher evaluations, the article ends with a discussion of possible explanations for the variations found between, as well as within, the two projects’ differing impact on student achievement.

Nationell ämneskategori
Utbildningsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31449 (URN)10.1007/s10763-016-9750-x (DOI)000410769000006 ()2-s2.0-84969786552 (Scopus ID)
Tillgänglig från: 2016-04-21 Skapad: 2016-04-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-28Bibliografiskt granskad
4. Large-scale professional development and its impact on mathematics instruction: Differences between primary and secondary grades
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Large-scale professional development and its impact on mathematics instruction: Differences between primary and secondary grades
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: ICT in mathematics education: The future and the realities. : Proceedings of MADIF10. The tenth research seminar of the Swedish Society for Research in Mathematics Education  / [ed] J. Häggström, E. Norén, J. van Bommel, J. Sayers, O. Helenius & Y. Liljekvist, Göteborg: SMDF/NCM , 2017, s. 57-66Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Göteborg: SMDF/NCM, 2017
Nationell ämneskategori
Utbildningsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31450 (URN)
Konferens
Tenth research seminar of the Swedish Society for Research in Mathematics Education, MADIF 10. Sweden: Karlstad, 26-27 January 2016
Tillgänglig från: 2016-04-21 Skapad: 2016-04-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-27Bibliografiskt granskad

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