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 Grant No. 0314808 and Grant No. ESI-0554309. 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.