This objective had two parts: 1) professional development in problem-based learning in math and science in order for teachers to implement the units, and 2) implementation of problem-based learning in the magnet school. One hundred percent of the classroom teachers in cluster-classrooms in Treatment 1 and 2 schools participated in professional development focusing on problem-solving in math and science using curricula from Mentoring Mathematical Minds and the College of William and Mary. Training included grade-level instruction on the units and strategies, observing, and coaching. For 6th grade math, a curriculum specifically targeting that grade level was developed and implemented year 2-5 of the grant. This curriculum, Math Innovations, has also been very effective in addition to the Mentoring Mathematical Minds (M3) – both out of the University of Connecticut and Kendall Hunt Publishing.
Mathematics Units at Treatment 1 and Treatment 2 Schools
Science Units at Treatment 1 and Treatment 2 Schools
Mathematics Units at GEMS Academy
Science Units at GEMS Academy
One of the most remarkable findings of the grant dealt with the efficiency of the professional development. As explicated in depth in Objective 6, increases in math scores were not significantly different for the magnet or PBL groups compared to the control. However, the amount of professional development accrued by PBL teachers was much less compared to the amount undertaken by the control group teachers. In other words, PBL teachers were yielding similar levels of growth in math achievement with less time and fewer resources allocated to professional development.