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Alliance for Teaching Mathematics to Special Education LearnersStrengthening Content Knowledge and Collaboration of General and Special Education Teachers Milwaukee Public Schools University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Math and Science Partnership Meeting Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction October 19, 2010
Vision • Improve mathematics performance for students in grades 4–9, particularly for students with special needs and for students who struggle, and • Support a school culture for collaboration of general and special education teachers on improving math learning for all students.
Goals • To strengthen the mathematics content knowledge of general and special education teachers; • To enhance mathematics instructional and assessment practices, focusing on appropriate accommodations and modifications for special education students; • To increase collaboration on math instruction between general and special education teachers.
Project Staff • UWM Mathematics • Kevin McLeod • UWM Mathematics Education • DeAnn Huinker • UWM Special Education • Judy Winn • MPS Teachers and Specialists • Melissa Hedges, Math Teaching Specialist • Chris Guthrie, Special Education Teacher • Beth Schefelker, Math Teaching Specialist • Mary Spidell, Special Education Supervisor
Participants • Year I – 35 participants
Year 1 • Met 19 Tuesdays January through July • Focus • Numbers and Operations • Barriers to learning mathematics • Language, visual perception, behavior • Scaffolded instruction to address barriers
Evaluation • Evaluation 1. Content KnowledgeWhat is the impact on teachers' math knowledge for teaching?Are there differential effects on general education versus special education teachers? • Evaluation 2. PracticeWhat is the impact on teachers' perspectives on teaching math?What is the impact of the project on teachers' classroom practice? • Evaluation 3. CollaborationWhat changes are observed in collaborative practices of general and special education teachers as a result of project participation? • Student AchievementWhat is the impact on student achievement in math, both overall and for student subgroups, specifically special education students?
Measures • Content Knowledge • Mathematical Knowledge for Teachers (MKT) • Practice • Teacher Surveys • Focus Group • Informal probes • Observations • Collaboration • Surveys • Focus Group • Student Achievement • WKCE • Benchmarks
Our Challenges • Curriculum development • Sparse special education math • Little guidance in linking two fields • Understanding philosophical differences • Collaborative planning and teaching • Ways to integrate the strands • Challenges consistent with teacher collaboration literature – e.g., time, instructor content knowledge
Our Challenges • Range of teacher content knowledge • Linking project participants to student mathematics achievement results • District data • Roles of participants • Attrition