MIT Teaching Systems Lab

People & Projects Working at MIT TSL with

Panel: Panel 7

Panel 7: You can’t learn to teach math without learning to teach a math curriculum
Reports on teacher professional learning (TNTP, 2015) and student learning in urban districts (TNTP, 2018) in the past five years have highlighted important challenges related to math curriculum and teacher learning. While one report found students lacking access to high quality, rigorous and grade-appropriate curriculum materials, another report found that the quality of curriculum materials districts chose varies widely . Even worse– teachers in the study spent significant time–an average of seven hours per week (250 hours per year!)– developing their own materials, which were found to be less aligned to meet academic math standards (TNTP, 2018).

At the same time, major investments have been made in developing high quality math curriculum materials with detailed teacher support materials, associated teacher professional learning and some investments in developing systems that independently evaluate the math curricula (e.g. EdReports). How can we explain that teachers are spending such significant resources to find or make their own curriculum materials–which generally met fewer academic standards than district curricula– when there is so much published curriculum out there? This panel will investigate this question and a host of other questions that explore the relationship between mathematics teacher learning and curricular materials.