Designing and Implementing Professional Development Summary

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What observations/comments would you like to make about the PCMI experience, particularly with respect to SSTP, and how it relates to professional development and to your own work?

  • Really like the problem sessions in the morning, carefully crafted to reveal deeper meaning and all students have access.
  • Aki's sessions raise good issues related to thinking about how you decide what to share and in what order.
  • Liked that the problem sets have no answers and force communication; participants are pushed into communication with each other.
  • Concern that there is not enough why time taken to push at the why things are working - already know a short cut and not stop to figure out why it works or why it is sense making? Summaries and connections not always made; like a race; make sure the teachers are talking about the whys in your own work. Table leaders make a difference - more explicit and consistent understanding of the role of the table leader; modeled the struggle and not made it a race.
  • How can we translate this experience into a smaller scale? Mini pcmi experiences at local/district sites.
  • Challenged the way you teach and awakened the desire to do math.
  • Concerned that we were not summarizing - want the big picture - not getting this in either of the two courses. Others commented that the overall picture emerged at the end of the three weeks not on a daily basis; mathematician observed that part of doing mathematics is to find the connections on your own or in discussion with others, but not at the direction of an instructor.
  • Important things to take away for pd is the increased awareness of high quality resources - things like the Math Forum - not just finding out more but knowing these and getting broader perspective.
  • Has provided the opportunity to learn many new ideas and ways of teaching - how and why to do it; organizational principles that help you think more about your own practice

Valuable asset of the organization is in repeated contacts with other participants - learn more about the different parts of the country.

Opportunities for every teacher to shine; different topics, math, teaching, working groups.

Working on math problems - watching others do math is awesome!

Good opportunity for teachers/ teacher educators to talk with mathematicians; get to see different worlds and maybe the usefulness of math.

Open culture that is associated with mathematics by mathematicians - mathematics is not closed with clear answers, which is not what school mathematics is like. Perhaps could video this struggle for students.

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IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540
Send questions or comments to: Suzanne Alejandre and Jim King

With program support provided by Math for America

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.