We provide services to schools, school districts, and organizations that can range from one-year projects, one- or two-summer institutes, or intensive multi-year professional development projects. Below are components of our professional development that have been used in our programming.
In-person learning labs
Big Ideas of Foundational Mathematics
We created the Big Ideas in Early Mathematics to address the need for a deeper understanding of foundational concepts in math and how they can be included in appropriate early childhood practice. Our Big Ideas use clear language to identify the central concepts within each mathematical topic—such as sets or number sense. Early childhood teachers can use these Big Ideas as a guide for thinking about the kinds of math learning opportunities they need to provide in their classrooms.
Content-Focused Whole Teacher Approach
The Whole Teacher Approach is a conceptual framework for the design of professional development designed by Dr. Jie-Qi Chen, the Principal Investigator for the Early Math Collaborative. While addressing teacher knowledge, attitudes, and practice in an integrated fashion, multiple pathways to teacher development are activated and training is more successful and has longer-lasting effects. This philosophy is used to guide our program design, implementation, and evaluation.
- Teachers: This includes direct intervention with teachers by Early Math Collaborative instructors.
- Leaders: This focuses on a “train-the-trainers” model, in which we work with coaches, facilitators, or pre-service education professionals so that they can train their teachers and students.
- Administrators: Leadership Academies help school administrators learn about Erikson’s approach to professional development, enhance their math knowledge and understanding, provide them with tools for classroom observation and conversations with teachers about instruction, and keep them informed about their teachers’ learning so they can support its implementation at their school.
Online learning labs
The content and participant level echoes In-person Learning Labs:
- Content: Big Ideas of Early Mathematics and/or Content-focused Whole Teacher Approach
- Participant-Level: Teacher, Leaders, and Administrators
Online learning library
Early Math Online
This online learning environment features over 120 videos of math lessons and “focus on the child” media clips as well as a growing archive of idea-generating articles and links to external resources. All are categorized and tagged according to Common Core State Standards and the Collaborative’s own Foundational Math Concepts and Big Ideas.
As part of programming, Discussion boards can provide unique and ongoing ways for instructors, facilitators, and teacher-participants to continue the learning around specific math topics.
Organized around a three-phase coaching cycle, possibly incorporating video-based observations, coaches guide teachers in practicing “mathematizing” classroom experiences. The goal of the process is to help teachers become skilled in using state and federal standards to plan learning and track children’s progress.
Individualized coaching sessions may be supplemented or gradually replaced by group study in grade-level meetings so that teachers learn to work collaboratively by providing feedback on each others’ teaching and eventually taking on responsibilities themselves.
Observation and consulting
Research and evaluation
Research and evaluation of educators and/or students can be a part of Early Math Collaborative program services or independent of it. Services may include materials, assessment and analysis, and/or training/certification. PROJECT EXAMPLES: Innovations, MDRC
- Materials: These may include testing kits, online video- and text-based surveys along with the support for conducting them with teachers, or training materials such as coded video examples.
- Assessment and analysis: The need to implement the assessments and analyze the results by Early Math Collaborative depends on the tool used, the institution’s resources, location, and the number of research participants involved.
- Training/certification: Depending on the tool used and the resources of each institution, training and certifying staff and validating those results may be an option.
High Impact Strategies for Early Mathematics (HIS-EM)
Created by Early Math Collaborative, this observation tool utilizes 9 dimensions organized within 3 domains to assess teacher practice. At a time when classroom observation is becoming the new norm of teacher evaluation, HIS-EM offers a content-focused tool that fills a void to assess early mathematics teaching.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Early Mathematics (PCK-EM)
Created by Early Math Collaborative, this online video-based survey assesses a teacher’s understanding of what math content is being taught, what instructional strategies are being used, and whether students understand the content.
Attitudes and Beliefs for Early Mathematics (ABC-EM)
Created by Early Math Collaborative, this online survey assesses teachers’ mathematical attitudes and beliefs.
Other: Woodcock-Johnson, CMA,TEAM
Early Math Collaborative has trained researchers and implemented these student and teacher assessment tools in numerous projects, each time choosing the tool based on the needs of the research being conducted.