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Voyager Sopris Learning® is the proven leader in providing research-based professional development for teachers and education leaders.
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The need has never been greater for well-designed mathematics instruction that promotes confidence in teachers and guides students to success.
In the early days of research as a co-author of Voyager Sopris Learning’s TransMath, I spent a lot of time observing struggling math students in the classroom. I soon discovered these students had much more than a deficit in math content knowledge. They also had lost all confidence in their ability to learn math.
While many parts of the country are experiencing record amounts of snow and cold temperatures, we already are thinking about summer—sunshine, the end of school, and the inevitable summer slide in learning. But is the summer slide inevitable?
There are many commonly proposed solutions to the shortage of qualified teachers for secondary students who are struggling in math or have learning disabilities. These solutions are expensive, complex, and they will take considerable time to implement. Many of them have been with us for years and have yet to be seriously implemented. So, what can be done in the short term?
At the heart of today’s challenge is finding a sufficient number of new teachers who have three distinct qualifications: 1) a sufficient content knowledge of mathematics, 2) a reasonable level of teaching or “pedagogical” knowledge of the subject, and 3) a capacity to differentiate instruction for struggling students. Finding all of these qualifications in one individual is rare, and the data confirm this.
American educators have a well-honed way of thinking about curriculum. Typically, district committees compare and then adopt a curriculum to meet specific goals or guidelines. More recently, curriculum adoption in math has been driven by state or national standards.