Everyday Mathematics Virtual Learning Community
The Everyday Mathematics Virtual Learning Community (VLC), funded by the National Science Foundation, is a working prototype, focused on first- and fourth-grade teachers using Everyday Mathematics. Using a design, develop and test cycle, we:
- Used a design approach that integrated (a) learning objects rooted in practice, (b) community-building tools, and (c) content focused on specific teacher learning goals; and
- Developed the EM-VLC by drawing on: (a) the professional and practical knowledge of teachers, and (b) the content, curricular, and pedagogical knowledge of experts.
The result is an elegant, efficient website rich with learning resources and a growing virtual community, numbering well over 4000 members.
We are preparing to
- Test this VLC against two metrics of the VLC’s utility and quality: (a) teachers’ sustained participation in the VLC, and (b) changes in teachers’ “professional vision” while using the VLC.
This project has been built on but differs from previous online professional learning efforts in STEM in three ways. First, it integrates three elements in its design, elements that were included, but rarely integrated, in previously existing efforts. Second, it positions teachers as central partners in the development of the VLC. Third, it engages teachers with a specific curriculum, Everyday Mathematics, and curriculum experts from UChicago STEM Education, allowing teachers to deepen their understanding of mathematics teaching in the context of a shared instructional system.
We believe that integrating these three primary elements and including teachers in the development process have led to a VLC that has utility for teachers and sufficient quality to allow teachers to learn. To test the accuracy of this hypothesis, we will begin to test the utility and quality of the VLC in the coming year, using two existing metrics for utility and quality (these metrics are sustained participation and “professional for more vision”; see Research and Development Design, page 7 in the Project Proposal (link below), for more detail).