Goals and Objectives
To be successful, a professional development plan must respond to the identified learning needs of the context in which it is to be implemented. A learning plan that is successful in one setting will fail in another setting if care is not taken to account for the contextual factors that influence implementation (Loucks-Horsley et al., 2010). For this professional development experience, I identified several goals and objectives. I aligned the goals and objectives described in Table 2 to teachers? learning needs as identified through the needs assessment while at the same time taking into consideration important contextual factors within the school district.
Professional Development Goals & Objectives
|Goal 1: Teachers will learn to utilize the revised state problem-solving work sample scoring rubric.||
Objective 1.1 - Participants will use the state scoring rubric to accurately score problem-solving work samples.
Objective 1.2 - Participants will establish inter-rater reliability of scored problem-solving work samples through the use of a collaborative Google spreadsheet.
Objective 1.3 ? Participants will feel prepared to utilize the state problem-solving work sample scoring rubric to score samples in the future.
|Goal 2: Teachers will develop their understanding of mathematical practices in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) through examination of problem-solving work samples.||Objective 2.1 - Participants will articulate the connections between the CCSS mathematical practices and the state problem-solving work sample scoring rubric.|
|Goal 3: Teachers will modify their instructional practice in mathematics as a result of analyzing problem-solving work samples.||
Objective 3.1 ? Within their cross-district PLC, participants will collaboratively identify a mathematical practice standard on which to focus instruction based on their analysis of problem-solving work samples.
Objective 3.2 ? Within their cross-district PLC, participants will design at least one instructional strategy to implement in the classroom in response to their analysis of problem-solving work samples.
Objective 3.3 ? Within their cross-district PLC, participants will articulate how they modified their instructional practice in mathematics in response to their analysis of work samples.
Goal 1 focused on grades 3-6 teachers learning to effectively utilize the revised state problem-solving work sample scoring rubric. Nearly 60% of intermediate elementary teachers identified a professional learning need to focus on utilizing the state problem solving work sample scoring rubric. The choice to construct this professional development goal in a way that specifically called for teachers to work and learn together in a collaborative manner was in direct response to the contextual setting of the local district. The educational organization had an ongoing focus of developing a culture of Professional Learning Communities. Examining student work samples is a strategy that works particularly well in a context of PLCs (Loucks-Horsley et al., 2010).
Goal 2 focused on teachers developing and extending their understanding of the mathematical practice standards (CCSSI, 2010) through examination of problem-solving work samples utilizing the state rubric. The researcher journal reflections indicated that there is often a disconnect between problem solving experiences and mathematics instruction. Examining student learning data ?gives teachers insights into standards, content, and students? thinking; fueling continuous improvement in instruction; and keeping professional learning communities riveted on results (Loucks-Horsley et al., 2010, p. 85). Goal 2 was structured to move teachers from understanding the standards and problem-solving rubric to applying that knowledge in examination of student work.
Because the needs assessment revealed that current implementation of the state problem-solving work sample requirement did not impact classroom practice, I designed Goal 3 and its related objectives to provide opportunities for teachers to plan and reflect on instructional changes in the classroom based on their analysis of student work samples. Multiple data sources, including elementary administrators, over 60% of intermediate teachers, and the researcher journal analysis identified strengthening instructional practices for mathematics as a professional learning need in the school district. The interview with the Director of School Improvement pointed to the need for ongoing, connected professional learning opportunities in order to support changes in classroom practice. For this reason Goal 3 centered teacher learning within a district PLC structure that allowed for continuous professional learning and support.