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Study Groups


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CPTM participates in the external evaluation of the Centers for Teaching and Learning program, conducted by Westat, Abt Associates, and SRI International.
The internal evaluation of CPTM is led by Suzanne Wilson from Michigan State University. Evaluation teams at both sites assist Suzanne in her effort to collect data relevant for the internal evaluation. The Georgia team consists of Na Young Kwon, Judith Reed, Ginger Rhodes, Thomas Ricks, and Heide Wiegel. The Michigan team consists of Mark Hoover, Teresa McMahon, and Andreas Stylianides.

Work of the Georgia Team
During Fall 2003, the group at UGA focused on an initial evaluation of the Summer 03 Institute. In particular, we looked at the teachers’ and teacher educators’ (mathematicians’ and mathematics educators’) personal goals for the institute and how well those goals matched the goals envisioned by the CPTM staff.

For Spring 2004, Suzanne asked us to collect data on the UGA doctoral program with respect to the three components of mathematics, teacher education, and research. We started by looking at documents available from the Mathematics Education Department, the College of Education, and the Graduate School. The lack of specificity in these documents led us to develop interview protocols for current and past doctoral students and for faculty. We are conducting interviews with representatives of these groups to provide us with a more detailed picture of how doctoral students come to develop their programs and what experiences they have.

Work of the Michigan Team
During Fall 2003, the group at UM started by identifying some groups housed at the UM whose activities are central to the goals of the center -– notably, the development of approaches to enhancing teachers’ mathematical knowledge so that it is useful for and usable in the work of teaching, and the development of approaches to educating professionals who teach teachers mathematics. To bound inquiry to this investigation, we decided to focus only on the following groups: BIFOCAL, Mathematics Education Doctoral Program, Mathematics Methods Planning Study Group, and Mathematics Teacher Education Study Group.

For each of these focal groups we were ultimately interested in answering questions that would provide insights into how the Center has an impact on the areas it targets. With regard to the Mathematics Education Doctoral Program, for example, we would like to be able to answer questions like the following:

What strategies can be used in doctoral study for producing mathematical knowledge for teaching? For building the capacity of future teacher educators and professional development leaders to create high quality learning opportunities for teachers?

What kinds of evidence would one collect to document the impact of a doctoral program on our collective capacity to learn from practice?

What strategies are best suited for leveraging change in the field more generally in terms of doctoral preparation?
What evidence might one collect to assess the impact of the Center on local and national efforts to build capacity for high quality professional development?

We began our work by developing thorough descriptions of each of the focal groups by using various means of data collection –- official group descriptions (e.g., grant proposals or websites), observations (e.g., attending the meetings or subscribing in the mailing lists of the groups), and informal discussions with participants of the groups. These descriptions gave us a good sense of what might actually be happening in the groups that will help us develop interview protocols for participants (leaders of the groups included). The interviews with participants will offer us the opportunity to validate our initial descriptions as well as examine how participants’ conceptions of the groups compare to one another. The final evaluation/study of the groups is expected to be the result of the dynamic merging of the different data we will be able to collect.