Teacher Professional Continuum Summary

Monday - Friday, July 3 - 7, 2006

The Teacher Professional Continuum group is continuing its work on creating the necessary documents to allow the materials used during the morning session to be implemented as professional development for teachers in a variety of settings other than PCMI. Starting on Monday, it was decided that the first part of our working group meeting would be spent with a debrief of the mathematics from the morning session. Each participant listed three main lessons that they learned during the morning session and we discussed both our own perspectives and those of others at our tables.

Tuesday was the Fourth of July, so we reconvened on Wednesday and began again with a look at our own learning from the morning. We also discussed the latest feedback from Al regarding the participants journal. On Thursday we were joined by John Polking from Rice University in Houston. He came to give us an overview of their use of the PCMI materials from 2004, "Stories that Count," which centered on combinatorics and the Simplex lock. He stressed that the ability to use the materials in a flexible manner, each day being crafted in response to the progress made the previous day, was key to the success of the program. He told us that the facilitators had spent time working on the problems individually and collectively before engaging in the work of facilitating the problem sets with their summer institute cadre of high school teachers. His insights were of great value to the entire group in looking at our own work through the lens of what a facilitator needs in order to make the most of the materials.

After John Polking left, Bowen called Al Cuoco at EDC to confirm that the work was satisfactory. Al assured the group that EDC is quite pleased with the work to date and informed us that one or two of the grant evaluators might be joining us in Park City during the third week. On Friday, it was agreed that while EDC would have the primary responsibility of creating the two introductory chapters, one aimed at explaining the philosophy along with its importance for the success of the program and the other presenting a deeper exposition on the mathematics addressed in the problem set, we should record our own thoughts and insights into the philosophy and flavor of the PCMI experience. Peg offered to take the lead on this piece. She also will be recording the group's reflections on the process of writing the facilitator's guides as it was agreed that we are not only creating a prototype for the product, but also for the process of creating it.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808.
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