Baylor School of Education is welcoming 50 middle and secondary mathematics teachers from across Texas to the Mathematics Teacher Academy (MTA) on the Baylor campus July 24-26.
Teachers are coming from 26 schools, including districts in the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio areas. This is the second year the SOE’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction has offered this professional development opportunity, which is co-directed by Dr. Trena Wilkerson, professor of secondary mathematics, and Dr. Rachelle Rogers, clinical associate professor of middle grades mathematics.
The theme of this year’s academy is “Supporting Students in Productive Struggle Across Mathematical Content Areas.”
“We wanted to offer the Mathematics Teacher Academy to collaborate with mathematics teachers across the state of Texas on content and process standards that students in grades 5-12 often struggle to comprehend,” Rogers said.
“It’s important for teachers to receive targeted professional development in both content and process,” Wilkerson said. “MTA offers a variety of instructional resources and provides time for teachers to work on their own implementation plan while at the conference.”
Concurrent sessions on a variety of topics — ranging from algebraic equations and unit circles to coding and augmented reality — will be taught by Wilkerson, Rogers, SOE associate professor Dr. Doug Rogers, and Baylor SOE doctoral and master’s students. A session will also be led by representatives from Texas Instruments.
Keynote speaker for the conference is Hiroko Kawaguchi Warshauer, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics at Texas State and co-author of the Math Explorations curriculum and the Mathworks Junior Summer Math Camp curriculum Math Quest. She is the Mathworks research coordinator, and her research interests include areas of teaching and learning that foster productive struggle and investigation of teacher noticing of student thinking.
Warshauer will discuss productive struggle and examine ways that teachers can effectively implement the practice in support of students’ understanding of mathematics. She will introduce the Productive Struggle Framework to analyze the nature of student struggles, possible teaching responses, and resolutions that result. Teachers will also explore possible strategies and indicators of productive struggle and implications from research.
Teachers attending will gain professional development credit, and the program will provide instructional resources for technology- and manipulative-based activities, development of teaching methods, and networking with fellow mathematics instructors.
The networking among teachers is an important component of the experience, the co-directors said.
“While we can offer sessions that provide a venue for explorations and discussions, we have the good fortune to engage in significant professional dialogue about today’s mathematics classrooms with those who are in the classroom daily,” Wilkerson said. “One of our goals is to assist mathematics teachers across the state to form networks of support as they facilitate student learning in the mathematics classroom.”
Follow-up events are also planned. “Educators who attend the Mathematics Teacher Academy will continue to gain classroom activities, resources, and collaborative opportunities with two follow-up professional development opportunities during the fall and spring semesters,” Rogers said.
Attendance at this year’s conference is significantly higher than last year’s. Rogers said she and Wilkerson are pleased with the growth and hope to expand to other states in the near future.
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Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.