PROM/SE in Action: Stories from the Classroom & District
PROM/SE Is Having An Impact
PROM/SE is having an impact on the building, district and national levels. Read on for examples of teachers and administrators who have shown courageous leadership in order to change the way mathematics and science are taught in our schools. Check back here often for more examples of PROM/SE in action.
In the Classroom: Maryville Public Schools
For two elementary teachers from the Marysville Public Schools system in Michigan, the PROM/SE Summer Mathematics Academy helped them see and understand math through the eyes of their students. After attending the summer academy and seriously examining the methods that they were using in their classrooms, the teachers felt that they could no longer teach within the math curriculum that had been used for the past seven years. Convinced that a format of math instruction that included mathematical thinking, problem solving, and students explaining solutions would lead to deeper mathematical understanding for their young students, they met with the principal and district administrators before the new school year to discuss implementing a new program of instruction. In just a short time, results are being seen in the classroom. Students are understanding and making connections with the math concepts being taught, and are having deeper mathematical conversations about the problems. One teacher remarked that she is helping her students solve problems rather than just get the answer. She hopes that this problem-solving attitude developed in second grade will be a foundation of deeper math understanding in future grades. She credits the intense training received through PROM/SE with helping her understand the impact of a student-oriented teaching style.
In the District: Lakeview School District
The Lakeview School District in Battle Creek, Michigan is in a three-year process of transforming their principals from managers to educational leaders and PROM/SE is a part of this plan. Principals are learning to be content experts and are exploring ways to conduct observations with dialogue centered on teacher growth. With this goal in mind, Lakeview’s assistant superintendent for instruction asked the principals to attend the Education Development Center-based Lenses on Learning, a resource offered to the district through PROM/SE. Some principals were more open to the process than others, but the assistant superintendent pressed all to attend. After only one session, the principals could see new ways to dialog about good mathematics instruction. As the course drew to a close, the principals were enthusiastic about the potential to impact mathematics instruction. Lakeview’s middle school principal is now sharing what he learned in the course by holding monthly meetings with the school’s mathematics teachers.
On The National Stage
A group of renowned scientists and science educators recently convened for Science Education in the 21st Century: A PROM/SE Forum. The meeting, sponsored by Michigan State University and PROM/SE, brought some of the brightest minds together to think about what K-12 science education, curriculum and instruction should look like in the 21st century. The forum included a who’s who of science and education leaders including Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman, astrophysicist Carl Pennypacker, former astronaut and educator George “Pinky” Nelson, Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon and MSU educators Joan Ferrini-Mundy, William Schmidt, George Leroi, and Charles “Andy” Anderson, among others. Science curriculum leaders from the PROM/SE K-12 partners joined the group for round table discussions identifying the big ideas in science that all students should master before graduation. Challenged by the National Science Foundation to examine science education in a new light, PROM/SE is working with national experts and school districts to rethink what comprises a rigorous and coherent science curriculum.