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Home > About Us

Mission
History
Initial Activities 2000-2001
Following Activities
Recent Activities
Meet the Staff

 

Mission

The Professional Development Collaborative was created to provide a variety of professional education programs to mathematics and science teachers in San Diego County .  We offer teachers the opportunity to reexamine the mathematics and science they teach at their various grade and course levels, and come to a deeper understanding of this content and its connections to other mathematical and scientific ideas and concepts.  Teachers have opportunities to examine and discuss their own teaching of subject matter with other teachers in an open, thoughtful manner, so that they can become reflective practitioners who make a difference in their classrooms, in their schools, and in their communities.  We are also committed to undertaking research on teacher change, student learning, effects of curricula, and the interrelations among these three elements, and sharing our findings with the research community and with other professional developers.

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History

At San Diego State University , the faculty associated with the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) is increasingly asked by school districts to offer professional development to K-12 teachers. A $3 million grant from Qualcomm, in the spring of 2000, provided an opportunity to begin the work of fulfilling these requests. A Professional Development Collaborative, under the auspices of CRMSE, was and continues to be staffed by professionals who work with CRMSE faculty to design and implement professional training for teachers. The faculty associated with CRMSE is from the College of Sciences and the College of Education . These faculty members are internationally known for their research on the teaching and learning of mathematics and science and the development of instructional materials, and most have been involved in professional development for a number of years.

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Initial Activities 2000-2001

The Professional Development Collaborative became involved in a three-way partnership with San Diego City Schools (SDCS) and the Foundation for the Improvement of Mathematics and Science Education (FIMSE). FIMSE is a non-profit organization seeking funding from local, state, and national companies and foundations to support mathematics and science improvement in SDCS.

We began our work with San Diego City Schools in the fall of 2000 with the design of a Mathematics Specialist Certificate Program for teachers in Grades 4-6, requiring 6 semester units of mathematics and 6 semester units of mathematics pedagogy . Thirty-two teachers, working in the eight lowest-performing elementary schools in the district, were assigned to teach only mathematics, and began the certificate program. They completed the program in June of 2000. We also received funding from the California Mathematics Professional Development Institute, CMPDI, through the University of California Office of the President that provided funding for stipends and additional professional development. We also provided an algebra institute focused on developing algebraic thinking for 18 middle school teachers from City Schools.

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Following Activities

2001 – 2002

During the 2001-2002 school year we again received funding from the CMPDI to offer Institutes. For the Elementary Institute, directed by Nadine Bezuk , we supplemented our Qualcomm funding to provide Mathematics Specialist Certificate Program coursework for Grades 4, 5, and 6 teachers from an additional 20 schools in San Diego City Schools. In addition a few teachers from surrounding school districts, and Grade 3 teachers who wanted to obtain this certificate also participated. Teachers in this program completed their coursework in the summer of 2002, and earned stipends from CMPDI.

We also offered two algebra institutes, directed by Nicholas Branca, for middle school teachers. The first, for teachers of Grades 6 and 7, focused on how to prepare students for algebra, while the second, for teachers of Grades 8 and 9, focused on the teaching of algebra. Teachers received credit for coursework that could be applied for supplementary authorization in mathematics, and earned stipends from CMPDI.

In science we began working with San Diego City Schools to prepare secondary science teachers to teach the newly adopted Conceptual Physics course in Grade 9. Fred Goldberg, Professor of Physics at SDSU and a member of CRMSE, oversaw the work of SDSU in this project. Four semester courses were designed to prepare secondary science teachers to teach the new Conceptual Physics. We also partnered with the Mathematics Renaissance Project K-12, funded by the National Science Foundation. Ellen Lee, the director of MRK -12, assisted the SDCS mathematics department in leadership activities with teachers.

Also, San Diego City Schools received National Science Foundation, NSF, funding for an Urban Systemic Project, to improve mathematics and science in city schools. The Professional Development Collaborative was subcontracted by the Project to provide professional development for teachers of science and mathematics.

2002 – 2005

We continued to receive funding from the CMDPI through the 2003 – 2004 school year. This provided support for stipends for participants in the Mathematics Specialist Certificate Program.

We again partnered with FIMSE again to obtain a Funds for the Improvement in Education, FIE, to design and implement a Primary Mathematics Specialist Certificate Program, PMSCP, for teachers in grades K, 1, and 2 in San Diego City Schools. Our first PMSCP “graduates” received their certificates in November, 2005. Since that group began in January 2004, we have had a new cohort of teachers begin the program each semester.

In 2004 a successful California Post-Secondary Committee, CPEC, grant was developed in partnership with SDCS for professional development for up to 30 middle school teachers over a two year period. This provided an opportunity for the teachers to earn 12 units of credit in mathematics and 3 units in mathematical pedagogy and to become “highly qualified” under the mandates of the No Child Left Behind legislation.

During the 2003 – 2004 school year we began our first partnership, which was with the City Heights Pilot in SDCS to provide professional development leading to an MSCP certificate for their upper elementary grade teachers. In August, 2004 we were the recipients of a substantial grant from QUALCOMM that became the Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics, ISAM, Initiative to expand our PDC coursework and professional development in partnership with districts in addition to SDCS. The following year extensive planning and collaborating began to develop long term partnerships with Lemon Grove School District , Ramona Unified School District and the Sweetwater Union High School District . Research and evaluation plans to determine the impact of the professional development on teacher knowledge and practice as well as student achievement were developed.

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Recent Activities

Currently we have an upper grades MSCP cohort in its second year and multiple primary MSCP cohorts in first and second year status. The City Height Pilot upper grades cohort is in its second year with plans to implement a primary MSCP next year. In addition we have long-term partnerships with three districts: Lemon Grove School District , Ramona Unified School District and the Sweetwater Union High School District .

For Lemon Grove a two-year professional development has begun with teachers from 3 of the 6 schools in grades K, 1 and 2. These teachers have the option of earning credit for a Primary Mathematics Specialist Certificate. Plans in Lemon Grove include professional development over a multi-year program for all teachers in grades K, 1 and 2. Partnership expansion plans include providing professional development for teachers in grades 3 – 6, with the option of earning the Mathematics Specialist Certificate.

In Ramona Unified School District representative teachers from grades 4, 5, and 6 in each of the schools are participating in a two year professional development program with the option of earning credit for a Mathematics Specialist Certificate.

Professional development for teachers primarily in grades 7, 8, 9 in the Sweetwater Union High School District who teach algebra or pre-algebra courses has begun. This provides 4 full days of professional development for the teachers grouped by teachers from a high school with the teachers from the feeder middle or junior high schools for that high school. The goal is to increase student achievement in algebra and to have more students, including special education students, successfully pass the mathematics portion of the California High School Exit Exam, CAHSEE. This is a five year partnership that is expected to lead to professional development in all the high school content areas of mathematics.

We are also contacting additional districts in San Diego County to develop long-term partnerships to provide professional development in mathematics for the 2006 – 2007 school year.


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