The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China

Summary of a Workshop

Ana Ferreras and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs

A. Ester Sztein, Editor

U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction

Board on International Scientific Organizations

Policy and Global Affairs



Washington, D.C.

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The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China Summary of a Workshop Ana Ferreras and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs A. Ester Sztein, Editor U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction Board on International Scientific Organizations Policy and Global Affairs

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0638656. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-15163-4 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-15163-5 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Preface and Acknowledgments I n 1999, Liping Ma published her book Knowing and Teaching Elemen- tary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in the United States and China, which probed the kinds of knowledge that elementary school teachers need to convey mathematical concepts and procedures effectively to their students. Later that year, Roger Howe, a member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI), reviewed the book for the Notices of the American Mathemati- cal Society, concluding that it “has lessons for all educational policymakers.” Ma’s book caught the attention of many mathematicians and mathematics educators, sparking an interest in Chinese mathematics teaching that con- tinues to this day.1 Several years ago, Professor Howe was attending an international conference on mathematics education when a particular phrase caught his ear; the Chinese educators often talked of “superrank” teachers, i.e. teach- ers with the honor of “Special Class” (Te Ji Jiao Shi in Chinese). This is an honorary designation in the Chinese career teacher hierarchy that involves special responsibilities for leadership, professional development, and re- search. Although there is no equivalent designation in the United States, the common roles of master teachers in both countries are math coaches National Research Council. 2003. Understanding Others, Educating Ourselves: Get- 1 ting More from International Comparative Studies in Education. Colette Chabbott and Emerson J. Elliott, eds. Committee on a Framework and Long-term Research Agenda for International Comparative Education Studies. 

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i PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS and consultants, technology coordinators, mentor teachers, mentoring and induction coordinators, peer reviewers, special education inclusion coordi- nators, department chairs, grade-level team leaders, and house leaders. Concluding that this was something U.S. educators wanted to know more about, Professor Howe shared this information with the USNC/MI.2 Intrigued by the idea of superrank teachers, the USNC/MI sponsored a workshop entitled “The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China.” The purpose of the workshop was to examine the struc- ture of the mathematics teaching profession in the United States and China, as described in the following statement of task: A public workshop will be organized that will bring U.S. and Chinese experts on mathematics education together to discuss professional development methods and techniques commonly used in their countries. The workshop will feature invited presen- tations and discussion that will focus on the teacher development process used in the U.S. and China, and how the professional lives of teachers are structured to receive ongoing professional development. The activity will bring together U.S. and Chinese experienced and highly qualified teachers that provide profes - sional development (such as master teachers, mentors, or coaches). Comparing and contrasting the roles and status of master teachers in both countries will be one of the main goals. An individu- ally-authored workshop summary and a 13-minute video with highlights of the event can be found at http://sites.national Held in Newport Beach, California, on July 31–August 2, 2009, the work- shop brought together about 40 mathematics educators, mathematicians, education researchers, and other mathematics education specialists from the two countries. There were participants from three regions of China, Beijing, Shanghai, and Jiangsu Province (north of Shanghai), as well as several Chinese scholars who now work in the United States. A graduate The USNC/MI plans, recommends, and encourages projects in areas of international 2 importance in mathematics education and also advises the National Research Council on all matters pertaining to the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction is a commission of the International Mathematical Union, which is an international, nongovernmental scientific organization with the goal of promoting international cooperation in mathematics.

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ii PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS student at the University of California, Irvine, Xiaoqing Chen, provided su- perb translations, with assistance from several bilingual scholars among the Chinese and Chinese-American participants. The workshop was planned and organized by two staff members from the Board on International Sci- entific Organizations (Ana Ferreras and Kofi Kpikpitse), with the assistance of five USNC/MI members: Patrick (Rick) Scott, New Mexico Higher Education Department; Joseph G. Rosenstein, Rutgers University; Janine Remillard, University of Pennsylvania; Roger Howe, Yale University; and Ann Lawrence, Capitol Hill Day School (retired). We would also like to express thanks to Ester Sztein for editing this report. There was no official National Research Council (NRC) planning committee. Workshop planners benefitted from information from a November 2008 meeting on “Building on Cross-National Comparisons to Improve the Preparation and Support of Teachers of Mathematics,” organized by Janine Remillard under National Science Foundation (NSF) grant 0738019. This earlier meeting, together with the 2009 workshop, provided invaluable in- sights into the teaching of mathematics and the preparation of mathematics teachers in both the United States and China. The authors would like to express their thanks to Gail Burrell (Michigan State University), who gener- ously contributed funds toward this activity through NSF grant 0714890. This workshop summary has been prepared by the workshop rappor- teurs as a factual summary of the main presentations and discussion at the July 2009 workshop. Chapters 1 and 2 provide background on the edu- cational systems in China and the United States, respectively, particularly as that background affects the preparation and practices of mathematics teachers. Chapter 3 describes the preparation and roles of mathematics master teachers in China, while Chapter 4 covers similar topics in the United States. A final chapter presents key questions identified by speakers at the workshop that remain to be answered. The statements made in this summary are those of the rapporteurs or individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the USNC/MI, or the National Academies. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with pro- cedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards

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iii PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this re- port: Jinfa Cai, University of Delaware; Roger Howe, Yale University; Cathy Kessel, consultant; James Lewis, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Xuhui Li, California State University, Long Beach; Edward Liu, Rutgers University; James Rubillo, DeSales University; and Tina Straley, Mathematical Associa- tion of America. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution. Ana Ferreras and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs

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Contents 1 Comparisons Between Mathematics Education in China and the United States 1 2 Mathematics Education in the United States 11 3 Teacher Preparation and the Roles of Master Teachers in China 19 4 Teacher Preparation and the Roles of Master Teachers in the United States 25 5 Comparisons and Unanswered Questions 35 References 39 Appendixes A Workshop Agenda 41 B Biographies of Workshop Participants 49 ix

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x CONTENTS FIguRES 1-1 U.S. Classrooms versus Chinese Classrooms, 5 1-2 U.S. Teachers’ Room versus Chinese Teachers’ Room, 6 BOxES 1-1 China-U.S. K–12 Educational Levels Comparison, 2 1-2 Confucius’ Teachings on Education, 4 1-3 A Day in the Life of a Chinese Teacher, 8 4-1 Becoming a Certified Master Mathematics Teacher in Texas, 31 4-2 Summary of Key Differences in the Mathematics Teaching Profession in China and the United States as Identified by Workshop Speakers, 32