CBMS Forum on Content-Based Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics
October 10-12, 2010, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Reston VA


The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) will host its third National Forum at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston VA on October 10-12.   The focus will be Content-Based Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics.  This will continue and expand work begun at the two previous CBMS forums.  The first, held in October 2008, focused on the recommendations of the National Math Panel Report. The second, held in October 2009, was designed to provide input to the Common Core State Standards initiative of the National Governors' Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  Now that these Standards have been published and have rapidly been adopted by more than two-thirds of the states, it is appropriate for the mathematics community to consider what steps we as a community can take to help promote the goals of greater achievement for all students that are envisioned in the Standards.  It is our belief that a very important contribution we must make now is greatly to enhance professional development opportunities in mathematics for teachers of mathematics. Indeed, a strong call for more and better professional development for teachers has been a common reaction of all those who have carefully studied the Common Core Standards. Thus our third forum will be devoted to starting a major effort to improve and increase content-based professional development for teachers of mathematics.

The plenary sessions in the forum are designed to provide the participants with a better understanding of the features of high quality content-based professional development for teachers of mathematics. The  breakout working sessions are intended to engage the participants in working toward the goal of increasing the number of college and university mathematics departments who partner with state departments and local school districts to provide such professional development to working teachers. Although our focus is on influencing mathematics departments, we expect to attract a broader audience of participants who have a stake and interest in providing continuing mathematical education for teachers.  The facts that these Standards have been well received by both the mathematics community and by school policy groups and that they have been widely adopted by the states provide an opportunity for the mathematics community to work toward a major scaling up of content-based professional development opportunities. Common standards should make scaling up easier in that there will be commonality across states in what teachers at a certain level need to know.  Our goal is not only in scaling up professional development opportunities, but in getting these opportunities into our systems so they are a part of the on-going responsibilities of departments and other organizations and thus can be factored into the planning of school districts. This forum will be an important step in bringing the community together to begin work on this ambitious goal. 


Day Time Function
Oct 10
4:00-6:00 Registration
6:00-7:00 Opening Talk and Conversation with Steve Robinson, Special
    Assistant, White House Domestic Policy Council
7:00-8:00 Reception: Drinks and Hors d'oeuvres


Day Time Function
Oct 11
8:30-9:30 Plenary Session:
Overview of Meeting and Charge to Participants - Joan Leitzel
How Common Standards Can Inform Professional Development
William McCallum
What do we Really Know about Professional Development?
    - Iris Weiss and Dan Heck
9:30-10:00     Break
10:00-11:45 Concurrent Breakout Sessions A
What are the implications for the mathematical content of professional development raised by the "Standards for Mathematical Practice" in the Common Core State Standards?
11:45-12:00     Break
12:00-1:00 Lunch and Luncheon Address by William "Brit" Kirwan, Chancellor of the University of Maryland System
1:00-1:15     Break
1:15-2:15 Plenary Session:
University Partnership Professional Development Programs
    Kentucky - Paul Eakin
    Florida - Gladis Kersaint
    Nebraska - Jim Lewis
2:15-2:30     Break
2:30-3:45 Concurrent Breakout Sessions B
What are the professional development challenges in our region and how can we work together and support each other in addressing them?
3:45-4:00     Break
4:00-5:00 Plenary Session: 
"What do teachers need to know to teach mathematics well?"
Conversation with Gail Burrill, Herb Clemens, and H.H. Wu,
moderated by William McCallum


Day Time Function
Oct 12
8:30-9:30 Plenary Session:
Innovative Professional Development Programs
    Education Development Center - Al Cuoco
    Inside Mathematics - David Foster
    Math for America - John Ewing
9:30-9:45     Break
9:45-11:15 Concurrent Breakout Sessions C
What are the three most important recommendations about the mathematical education of teachers that should be highlighted in MET2, the new edition of The Mathematical Education of Teachers?
11:15-11:30     Break
11:30-12:00 Closing Session
Where do we go from here?
Reflections on the forum by Denise Spangler

Breakout Working Sessions

Message to Participants:  Each breakout session will have a special focus, but there are three overarching questions we want you to keep in mind throughout all the discussions.
1. As states adopt increasingly higher standards, what are the implications for the continuing education of teachers?
2. How can mathematics departments, colleges of education, school systems, and state departments of education best encourage, support, and collaborate with faculty members and teachers who want to offer content-based professional development?
3. How can we scale up opportunities for content-based professional development and make such opportunities systemic?

Breakout Sessions A (Monday morning)

Focus: What are the implications for the mathematical content of professional development raised by the "Standards for Mathematical Practice" in the Common Core State Standards?

The eight Standards for Mathematical Practice can be roughly grouped into focus areas

bulletProblem Solving and Modeling - comprising standards 1,4,5.
 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
 4. Model with Mathematics.
 5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
bulletReasoning and Precision - comprising standards 2, 3, 6.
 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
 6. Attend to precision.
bulletHabits of Mind - comprising standards 7, 8.
 7. Look for and make use of structure.
 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

During these first breakout sessions, we will group you according to expressed interest or expertise in these three focus areas and according to the school level interest (elementary, middle, or secondary).  The registration page asks you for these preferences.

Breakout Sessions B (Monday afternoon)

Focus: What are the professional development challenges in our region and how can we work together and support each other in addressing them?

These second sessions are intended to bring together participants from the same state or same geographic region to work on improving or building cooperative relationships to address the professional development needs of teachers in that area.  Participants will be grouped according to geographic region.

Breakout Sessions C (Tuesday morning)

Focus: "What are the three most important recommendations about the mathematical education of teachers that should be highlighted in MET2? 

In 2001, CBMS published The Mathematical Education of Teachers (MET), which focused on the initial mathematical education of teachers.  We are currently engaged in an effort to update this publication (here called MET2) with a target publication date of October 2011, incorporating what we have learned about teacher education over the last decade and extending the scope of the document to include more on the continuing mathematical education of teachers, that is, content-based professional development for teachers of mathematics.  The original MET document offered 11 recommendations to mathematics departments and the general mathematical community about the mathematical education of teachers. The recommendations fell into three categories: i) curriculum and instruction; ii) cooperation; and iii) mathematicians' involvement in national policy. Based on your experience and your discussions with colleagues at this forum, we are asking for your thoughts about what is most important to highlight in MET2. We would especially appreciate ideas about the following:
A)   Recommendations to mathematics departments concerning the teaching and learning of mathematics for teaching.
B)  Recommendations concerning relationships among the many groups who are engaged in the initial and/or continuing mathematical education of teachers.
C)   Recommendations concerning policy and engagement in issues connected to K-12 education.

Intended Participants

We are especially seeking teams of 2 to 4 people that include both higher-ed and school system people. We want people who have the authority to influence policy and people who have the capacity to act.  One example of a team would be a university mathematics department chair, a mathematics educator, and a state or district school official in charge of mathematics instruction. With a view toward building future leadership, we encourage teams to include an early career faculty member who has leadership potential. We expect a certain number of individual and “observer” participants and we especially welcome observers affiliated with organizations that have the capacity to act as agents for large-scale change.

Participant Support

We have received some participant support funds from the Brookhill Foundation and NSF and there is a place on the reservation form for you to request such support if needed.  In this current economy, we know that many institutions have severely restricted travel funds and we would like to be able to direct our limited funds to those who most need them.  So if you have another source of funding, please try that first before requesting support from our funds.


The registration form is here: http://ime.math.arizona.edu/2010-11/1010_registration.php.  Note that you will be asked your preferences for Breakout Session A as described above. There is a registration fee of $100 for a team of up to 4 persons or $50 for an individual.  The registration fee should be mailed by September 30 to CBMS, 1529 Eighteenth St NW, Washington DC 20036.

Hotel Reservations

Please make your reservations directly with the hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Reston VA.   Our group rate is $189 per night plus tax which is currently 9%.   You must register by September 29 to get this rate.  You can make hotel reservations online by going to https://resweb.passkey.com/go/CBMS or by calling 1-888-421-1442 and saying you are with the CBMS Math Forum Group.  The hotel is located about 6 miles from Dulles Airport (IAD) and there is a complimentary hotel shuttle between the airport and the hotel.  Details about transportation to the hotel are here.


Please direct questions about the forum to Ron Rosier at rosier@georgetown.edu.


CBMS gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Brookhill Foundation and the National Science Foundation which are making this Forum possible.