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Changing the teaching culture from isolated individuals working behind closed...

Issue Addressed:

Changing the teaching culture from isolated individuals working behind closed doors to a community that works together to learn more about teaching and learning mathematics.


At one of our districts we have been meeting on a monthly basis (six times a year) with all the junior high and high school mathematics teachers. These two hour sessions have as a main goal ending the isolation between teachers and developing working relationships. We have looked at outside examples of student work and classroom teaching and are working to create an environment where teachers feel comfortable sharing examples from their own classrooms. As an added advantage, we have been able to include a group of university students who will be completing their pre-intern and intern teaching experiences in the district's schools. This was set up by invitation from the school district as a way to satisfy the content part of their contractual professional development requirement. Teachers also have a contractual requirement to attend.

Unresolved Issues:

Getting beyond a lack of interest in mathematics beyond what the teachers are teaching. Overcomming longstanding biases between the high school and junior high teachers. Designing professional development sessions that appeal to people scattered across the continuum of reform.


Laura Van Zoest, 1/8/1998


Professional Development



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