2015 – Present
The Adaptive Pedagogy for Elementary Teachers: Promoting Multiplicative and Fractional Reasoning to Improve Students’ Preparedness for Middle School Mathematics (AdPeD) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Full Design & Development project within the Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12) Learning Strand. The project is implementing and studying a professional development (PD) intervention designed to shift upper-elementary teachers’ mathematics teaching toward a constructivist approach, called student-adaptive pedagogy (AdPeD), which adapts teaching goals and activities based on students’ conceptions and experiences. The project focuses on multiplicative and fractional reasoning—critical for students’ success in key areas of middle school mathematics (e.g., ratio, proportion, and function). Its design is rooted in an innovative, cohesive framework that integrates four research-based components: (i) a model of mathematics learning and knowing, (ii) models of progressions in students’ multiplicative and fractional reasoning, (iii) a model of teaching (AdPeD) to promote such learning, and (iv) a mathematics teacher development continuum. Capitalizing on successful preliminary efforts in the Denver Metropolitan area to refine a PD intervention and student-adaptive Resources, Models, and Tools (RMTs) that challenge and transform current practices, the project will first validate and test instruments to measure (a) teacher growth toward adaptive pedagogy and (b) student growth in multiplicative reasoning. Using these new instruments, along with available measures, the project will then promote school-wide teacher PD (Grades 3-5) in multiple urban schools with large underserved student populations and study the effects of PD benefits on teacher practices and student outcomes. In the project’s first year, the team studied, developed, and validated two instruments that measure teachers’ growth toward adaptive pedagogy and students’ multiplicative reasoning.