Thursday, August 2, 11:00-11:30, SUB Ballroom C, Theme: Profession

The need for professional learning inclusive of rural K-12 educators fuels the STREAM project’s six-year effort to design, offer, and investigate a successful model of online/blended learning (OBL) for mathematics teachers across Montana, where 75% of schools and teachers are rural. The model attends to five elements of Desimone’s “core conceptual framework” for effective professional learning (2009, p. 183): a focus on content, active learning, coherence, adequate duration, and collective participation. STREAM workshops and online modules feature standards-based and domain-specific mathematics content knowledge. As active participants teachers solve rich mathematical tasks, examine student work, analyze instructional videos, and create standards-based lessons using carefully vetted materials that maintain coherence with district curriculum. Adequate duration is assured over months of blended learning, while opportunities for shared reflection and comparison encourage collective participation in a learning community.

Central to the STREAM curriculum are over 20 three-week online modules, each targeting a cluster of mathematical concepts or a learning progression spanning several grades. Each week teachers complete two or three tasks that explore important concepts in mathematics, examine evidence-based practices, introduce Web-based resources, or ask them to investigate their own classrooms and students. Solutions and reflections are communicated in discussion forums with feedback from peers and instructors. We will describe the STREAM module structure, demonstrate exemplar tasks, and discuss teacher outcomes. The STREAM curriculum provides a template for online/blended professional learning that can be replicated for rural educators anywhere, as well as other teacher groups challenged by limitations of time, money, distance, and isolation.