Professional Development
on Use of Instructional Materials

Aims, Actions, Adaptations:
Workforce Development and
CMSI Professional Development

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One of the long-term goals of the CMSI was to increase the “capacity and competency in mathematics and science content knowledge and pedagogy” of teachers, school administrators, and instructional support staff. This section describes how the professional development strategy contributed directly to that goal.

In the first years of the CMSI, professional development was delivered through collaborative relationships between universities, publishers, curricular developers of the instructional materials, and the school district. Various “implementation and support centers” partnered with CPS to provide professional development specific to the different instructional materials. The University of Chicago’s Center for Elementary Math and Science Education became the support center for Everyday Mathematics, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Mathematics and Science Education supported Math Trailblazers and Connected Mathematics, and the Loyola University Center for Science and Math Education became the SEPUP science implementation and support center. The configuration of these partnerships changed over time in response to the changing needs of the district and teachers, as illustrated in another section.

Each of these institutions worked with the district to provide materials-specific, grade-specific, and experience-level specific (new or experienced users) professional development for district leaders, teachers, and principals. The number of math and science professional development sessions and of attendees are large. Considering just the main series of teacher sessions for elementary school math and science curricula, between 1000 and 6000 teachers annually participated. The table below also shows how the scale of professional development varied across years with activities peaking in 2004 and 2005.

Table: Participants in CMSI Math and Science Curricular
Professional Development, 2003 - 2008

Curriculum Content Area   2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008
MATH # of new users 1271 3378 3547 2986 2081
Total # of users 1271 4492 5089 4843 3301
# of PD hours 20144 66969 75695 63164 36146
SCIENCE # of new users NA 1095 1102 1385 1050
Total # of users NA 1278 1337 1915 1659
# of PD hours NA 7680 13735 19317 13767

We include a specific example of SEPUP professional development that illustrates the approach of one implementation and support center to provide professional development for one set of CMSI-supported instructional materials, although it is important to note that similar activities and approaches were used for the other four supported instructional materials as well.

The Office of Mathematics and Science gradually brought this outsourced professional development in-house, as it developed the internal capacity to deliver it. In a model similar to the Leadership Academy, CPS staff went through a training program that covered both the instructional materials and adult learning in a process to become certified as professional development leaders (PDLs).

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