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  1. Corey Drake
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Michigan State University
  1. Mona Baniahmadi
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Duquesne University
  1. Kristen Ferguson
  2. Undergraduate Researcher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Purdue University
  1. Kristin Giorgio-Doherty
  2. Doctoral Student
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Michigan State University
  1. Jill Newton
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Purdue University
  1. Amy Olson
  2. Associate Dean for Administration and Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Duquesne University
  1. Kaitlyn Sammons
  2. Undergraduate Research Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Purdue University
  1. Marcy Wood
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Arizona

Co-Developing A Curriculum Coherence Toolkit with Teachers

NSF Awards: 1908165

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

This video reports on a national survey of third through fifth-grade teachers about their use of mathematics curricular resources and their experiences teaching mathematics before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey shows the prevalence of teacher-created materials during the pandemic and adaptations to the mathematics curriculum. It also documents barriers to learning during the pandemic and connects those barriers to levels of poverty in schools.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (19 posts)
  • Icon for: Dionne Champion

    Dionne Champion

    Facilitator
    Research Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 11:54 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing your work!

    What do you see as the impact of your study?

     
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    Sabrina De Los Santos
    Remy Dou
    Mona Baniahmadi
  • Icon for: Mona Baniahmadi

    Mona Baniahmadi

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 11, 2021 | 01:55 p.m.

    Dear Dionne,

    Thank you for your good question! In our study, we identified ways in which teachers were making the best of their circumstances, more exploration and recognition are needed in relation to the successes that students and teachers found during remote learning. This has implications for policymakers, teacher educators, and other stakeholders seeking to advance educational equities.  

     

     
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    Sabrina De Los Santos
    Remy Dou
  • Icon for: Erin Krupa

    Erin Krupa

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 12:14 p.m.

    This is such important work because, as you stated, the landscape of curriculum is changing. We really have to understand these shifts to understand what students are given the opportunity to learn and if the curricula are coherent, especially with adaptations and modifications of the existing curricula.

     
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    Remy Dou
    Jessica Hunt
    Mona Baniahmadi
  • Icon for: Mona Baniahmadi

    Mona Baniahmadi

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 11, 2021 | 12:53 p.m.

    Dear Erin,

    Yes, that is right! This is an important issue! Our results showed that the inequities faced by students from less wealthy backgrounds were exacerbated by the pandemic. When considering the reasons for educational inequities, we often turn to the curriculum. The unfocused and fragmented curriculum plays a significant role in the learning gap between students. 

     

     
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    Holly Morin
    Remy Dou
    Erin Krupa
  • Icon for: Michael Belcher

    Michael Belcher

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 12:16 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video! I think this is a very interesting and important study. What do you think the implications of your findings are for online teaching and learning? In particular, what does an equitable and coherent online curriculum look like, given the considerable disparities that you observed in students' access to resources? Hopefully there will be a post-pandemic soon and we won't have to deal with something like this again, but are there things schools, teachers, and colleges of education can/should be doing now to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic and/or a return to remote learning in the future? 

    Thank you and Great Work!

     
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    Sabrina De Los Santos
    Remy Dou
    Mona Baniahmadi
  • Icon for: Mona Baniahmadi

    Mona Baniahmadi

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 11, 2021 | 01:48 p.m.

    Dear Michael,

    Thank you for your great questions! Our results show that teachers made many adjustments to their curriculum in an effort to support student learning in a remote environment. Oftentimes, teachers needed to invent their own materials as the available curricula did not meet the realities of at-home, online learning. And while teachers were aware of potential inequities tied to differential access to the internet, the structures of society and schooling meant that there was little they could do to correct them.

    From the results, we learned that teachers and students should become more adept with technology and online classroom. And these improved technology skills would be helpful for the post-pandemic era. 

     

     

     
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    Remy Dou
  • Icon for: Mona Baniahmadi

    Mona Baniahmadi

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 11, 2021 | 12:38 p.m.

    Hi,

    This is Mona Baniahmadi. I am a graduate research assistant at Duquesne University. This video reports on a national survey of third through fifth-grade teachers about their use of mathematics curricular resources and their experiences teaching mathematics before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am looking forward to hearing your questions and thoughts on our research project. 

    Mona

     
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    Remy Dou
  • Icon for: Jessica Hunt

    Jessica Hunt

    Associate Professor, Mathematics Education and Special Education
    May 11, 2021 | 02:54 p.m.

    This is such important work with seemingly divergent take aways.  For instance, we have curriculum materials in place that do not translate to online instruction; we have teachers who work to create the translation in a sense.  This could mean that we need more coherent approaches to curriculum materials that translate better to online environments.

    Yet, access to online instruction for many students is dismal or non-existent.  Even a coherent curriculum will not solve issues of access to people who do not have internet to access the materials or use technology to learn.

    I wonder if there are innovative ways to conceptualize 'remote learning' that we are not yet considering (or utilizing well) that could solve issues of access and connect to the curriculums in some way?  Did any of the teachers' solutions or work speak to this is some way?

     
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    Sabrina De Los Santos
    Remy Dou
    Dionne Champion
  • Icon for: Marcy Wood

    Marcy Wood

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 11:27 p.m.

    This is such an interesting question! Our survey data don't have enough detail about teacher solutions to help reimagine remote learning. We might be able to gather this information in our next steps, so thanks for this suggestion!

     
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    Jessica Hunt
  • Icon for: Remy Dou

    Remy Dou

    Facilitator
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 09:58 p.m.

    Comments: I agree with the comments made by others above about the importance and great value of this work. The ability for stakeholders, like researchers and policymakers, to leverage data about the landscape of curriculum development and adoption by elementary teachers is critical to the process of informed decision-making. I appreciate this project's contribution to that effort.

    Questions: Your video brought to mind two somewhat unrelated questions. Given the broad set of diverse contexts teachers find themselves in, what does your data reveal about the geographic distribution of your survey respondents? And did you find meaningful but statistically non-significant results that surprised the team or contradicted expectations?

     
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    Sabrina De Los Santos
  • Icon for: Marcy Wood

    Marcy Wood

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 11:37 p.m.

    Hi, Remy 

    We only have state level data about participants, so there isn't a lot to say about geographic distribution. About half of our teachers (54%) were from suburban districts, 28% were from urban districts and the remaining were from rural districts. We are really interested in how teachers are using Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest for curriculum materials. Teachers across all districts and school types seem to be turning more and more to teacher-created materials. It seems important to learn more about what they are finding there and how they are using that in their teaching.

    One preliminary finding that I'm interested in thinking about more is how often teachers told us that one of the most frustrating parts of online teaching is not being able to see what students are doing as they problem solve. It's clear that many teachers gain important information about student's mathematical knowledge by seeing how they are working through a problem. For schools that will continue online, it might be worth figuring out ways to capture student writing/drawing (like an digital camera/Elmo for home use or a tablet children can write on).

     
    1
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    Remy Dou
  • Icon for: Sabrina De Los Santos

    Sabrina De Los Santos

    Facilitator
    Research and Development Associate
    May 11, 2021 | 11:56 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work! I agree with your comment that "improved technology skills will be helpful for the post-pandemic era." I would add that the pandemic exposed students' living environments and access or lack of access to technology, and this will hopefully help influence curriculum beyond remote learning. Will you be following up with the survey participants to understand any adjustments to curriculum as schools open up and/or are in hybrid mode?

  • Icon for: Marcy Wood

    Marcy Wood

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:56 p.m.

    Our next step is to work with teachers in post-pandemic classrooms (or whatever we call classroom spaces over the next year!). In some very preliminary work, as teachers head back to classrooms, the conservative pressures of the physical classroom environment seem to prevail - so while children are in masks and some school-wide safety protocols are in place - what is happening in a classroom doesn't seem to be radically different from 2018.

     
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    Jessica Hunt
    Sabrina De Los Santos
  • Icon for: Holly Morin

    Holly Morin

    Informal Educator
    May 12, 2021 | 10:04 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work! I am curious, as you mention some teachers had already shifted to creating their own math lessons pre-pandemic, were there methods or tools they were already using that did translate well to online learning? Or as they migrated through an online learning year, what worked best for them?  Understanding the challenges are key, but I think collating a suite of successes, for others to also learn from, is also helpful.  I'd love to know more about your teachers experiences and what they found useful or supportive for online learning.  

  • Icon for: Marcy Wood

    Marcy Wood

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 11:56 p.m.

    Hi, Holly - I agree that a focus on success seems really productive. And we found that many teachers were positive about their online experience. Several teachers enjoyed learning new tools and resources and found that some online tools were better for accomplishing some tasks than what they were doing in person. Other teachers enjoyed the collaboration with their colleagues. We don't have a lot of specific details because of the nature of our survey questions.

  • Icon for: Paola Sztajn

    Paola Sztajn

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 12:51 p.m.

    We know how important opportunity to learn is for equitable instruction, and your research is highlighting how these opportunities are being impacted by these curriculum changes. What do you see as next steps as we try to increase students opportunities to learn math? How can online curriculum contribute in a positive fashion to this goal?  Thanks for sharing.

     
    1
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    Sabrina De Los Santos
  • Icon for: Marcy Wood

    Marcy Wood

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 11:44 p.m.

    Hi, Paola! 

    We started this project wanting to think about how teachers make curriculum coherent for students. The pandemic arrived just before we were to launch our survey, so we retooled the survey to focus a little more on what the remote/online teaching was like. Our next steps include a return to curriculum coherence - and I think your questions connect in important ways to the idea of coherent curriculum. In particular, what does this mean when we have online/remote learning? What are the best ways of linking ideas and lessons in an online space - or in a hybrid space where students might be one day in person and another day online. These are going to be significant challenges going forward!

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    Zachary Shand

    Undergraduate Student
    May 18, 2021 | 12:52 p.m.

    It was very interesting to read about how teachers are shifting from external resources for material to developing their own material. This makes sense given that the former (external resources) are more oriented around an in-person instruction that has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, I wonder if any deficiencies in mathematical progression among students (due to difficulties either caused or exacerbated by the challenges of the pandemic) have also propelled this increase in teacher-generated materials? Through developing their own activities, are teachers trying to tailor instruction to their specific students' deficiencies, given that many students have recently fallen behind? 

  • Icon for: Corey Drake

    Corey Drake

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 05:48 p.m.

    Thanks, Zachary, for your questions! While we did not ask questions specific to student deficits, we do know from our survey responses that teachers are often thinking about meeting students' strengths and needs when adapting and creating curriculum materials. Differentiation, engaging with students, and meeting student needs were key priorities for teachers as they used curriculum materials, particularly during the pandemic.

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