STEM teacher professional development grant: Mobiles, Math, INquiry & Data (mMIND)

I am super excited to let everyone know that Dr. Alistair Windsor and I have been awarded a science, technology, engineering, and math teacher professional development grant with Tipton County Schools and Lauderdale County Schools here in Tennessee.  This grant titled “Mobiles, Math, INquiry & Data (mMIND)” is funded by the Tennessee Department of Education‘s higher education commission and our state’s First to the Top funds as part of the Race to the Top federal program.  Below is a brief abstract of our professional development program. We are in the process of recruiting math and science teachers in Tipton and Lauderdale Counties.

The purpose of this project is to provide high quality, research-based teacher PD to 30 math and science teachers in Grades 7, 8, and 9 in Tipton and Lauderdale Counties of Tennessee. Specifically, this PD program will target (a) mathematical content knowledge, (b) mathematical pedagogical-content knowledge, (c) interdisciplinary inquiry through problem-based and project-based learning (PBLs) strategies, and (d) technology integration with mobile computing devices. This will be accomplished through summer teacher academies, continuing professional development, face-to-face classes, synchronous online sessions through Adobe Connect, and asynchronous online activities. By involving both math and science teachers, both content areas will be able to integrate CCSSM with pre-algebra/algebra, PBLs, authentic learning scenarios for applying math and science, and data analysis, representation, and interpretation methods, as well as active mobile teaching and learning strategies.

In addition, we will create professional learning communities (PLCs) at the building level and communities of practice at the district levels. With math and science teachers at the building level collaborating in a PLC, the teachers will be better situated to create interdisciplinary and complementary STEM lessons, which researchers suggest will prevent inert knowledge (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1985) and increase generalizability of knowledge in multiple content areas (Grant & Branch, 2005; Spiro, Feltovich, Jacobson, & Coulson, 1992). At the district level, teachers will be able to collaborate and debrief across school boundaries, and share best practices.