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topics for which there are more questions than answers. Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology calls for enhanced links between research and practice, and Every Child Mathematically Proficient suggests such links should be translated into the development of curricular materials and professional development programs for teachers. The prominence of research in these documents suggests a shift in the way changes are made in mathematics education and has implications for how program changes are instituted.
Collaboration. Making change in our complex education system is difficult, and improvement requires collaboration among diverse stakeholders who represent different parts of the system. Systemic change requires new forms of partnerships to make the system more productive and to provide solutions that cut across the system components. Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology and The Mathematics Education of Teachers make strong statements about forming K–12 and university partnerships, involving mathematicians and scientists to improve teacher preparation and development (
Table 7–3). Several of the documents suggest that parents as well as teachers must be brought into the process of change in school mathematics, including discussions of curricular goals and how teaching and assessments have changed in mathematics classrooms (
Professional Development. Every report that addresses changing conditions and expectations eventually arrives at the need for more effective forms of professional development. Six of the reports (
Table 7–3) support the need for highly qualified teachers who take part in continuous learning that is part of the system for teachers: “High-quality teaching must be continually reshaped” (Before It's Too Late, p. 22). Given enhanced opportunities for professional growth and development, teachers will be able to implement the vision of mathematics instruction called for in these reports. Moreover, the professional development must be more than a “patchwork of courses” (Educating Teachers, p. 31) and must be related to the mathematics teachers are expected to teach and to how to helping students understand this mathematics.
Technology. The documents recognize technology as a major factor driving the need for change, creating a different world with different expectations about the mathematics students will need (
Table 7–1). The reports, however, are not unanimous in their technology recommendations. Principles and Standards states that technology is essential to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Every Child Mathematically Proficient cautions that further study is needed to explore how technology should be used to enhance student learning in mathematics, and Adding It Up is also cautious, but suggests that technology offers much promise in the search for ways to improve what happens in classrooms.