Professional Development
on Use of Instructional Materials

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In its definition, the Chicago Math & Science Initiative (CMSI) focused on changing teacher practices as the means to improving student achievement. The concept of changing teacher practices included both content, the “what,” and pedagogy, the “how.” This section describes the professional development for classroom teachers, professional development that was based on the CMSI-selected, standards-based instructional materials as a primary means to address both the content and pedagogy of teaching practices.

The CMSI looked for two things as it evaluated instructional materials: content that was aligned with state standards, and approaches to presenting this content that were proven effective in improving students’ math and science learning. The CMSI chose instructional materials that used teaching techniques shown to work for student populations similar to those in Chicago. Because the selected instructional materials had inquiry-based instruction built into their design, CMSI planners believed that as teachers learned the new materials, they would also learn new ways of teaching.

This section focuses on this strategic approach to professional development. It addresses the contextual factors that influenced the CMSI professional development strategy design and implementation. It describes how the professional development strategy supported the CMSI goals through its aims, actions, and adaptations. It also addresses how the implementation of CMSI professional development supported the long-term viability of this reform.

Other sections discuss other types of teacher professional development like in-school instructional supports by coaches and professional development on math and science content offered through university courses.

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