| |  
Frequently Asked Questions
Get Involved

Related Links

s s s 
PSC Home > Projects > iPSC: Implementing the Problem-Solving Cycle

The primary goal of our current work – a 5-year project funded by the National Science Foundation – is to investigate the scalability of the Problem-Solving Cycle (PSC) model of mathematics professional development and accompanying facilitation material. More specifically, we are studying whether the PSC can be implemented with integrity by multiple facilitators in multiple settings. We are working with a group of middle school mathematics instructional leaders (ILs) in a large urban school district with a substantial minority student enrollment, including English Language Learners. The study includes 2½ years of preparation and support for the ILs, who in turn will implement the PSC with the mathematics teachers in their schools. We are documenting and analyzing the preparation and support that ILs need and how those change over time, the range and quality of implementation, and the impact of the PD process on ILs, teachers, and students.

Structure of Support for Instructional Leaders:

Before beginning to work as facilitators, ILs participate in an initial “iteration” of the Problem-Solving Cycle. The iteration of the PSC is facilitated by project staff, enabling the ILs to gain first-hand experience of the PSC model, observe how it is conducted, and reflect on their own learning.

In the second phase of preparation, the ILs participate in a weeklong leadership academy. During this summer academy the ILs transition from their role as participants in the PSC to facilitators. The academy focuses on core issues related to the initial implementation of the PSC, such as fostering a professional learning community and promoting discourse around classroom video.

Instructional leaders participate in two “mini” PSC cycles during the summer academy, in which they experience the PSC as both learners and facilitators. In each case, they solve a mathematics problem, watch classroom video of a teacher implementing the problem, reflect on features of the problem and video clips that fostered rich mathematical and pedagogical discussions, and consider how they would facilitate PSC workshops around this same problem. The ILs read through the PSC Facilitator’s Guide, reflect on their learning, instruction, and goals as facilitators, and raise questions and concerns.

By the end of the summer academy the ILs have considered the characteristics of the chosen problems, discussed how to pick video clips that facilitate productive conversations, developed prompts for discussion, worked through logistics of implementation like scheduling, and made a preliminary plan for their first cycle of the PSC in the fall.

The ILs continue to have support as they embark on their journey as facilitators of the PSC. Prior to each workshop they hold with the teachers at their schools, we get together with them for an Instructional Support Meeting (ISM). We plan the ISMs taking into account all the things we noticed about the IL’s concerns & the types of support they seem to need.

| Site map | Contact | Webmaster |
| Copyright 2009 Stanford University |

Stanford School of EducationUniversity of Colorado Denver Stanford School of Education University of Colorado at Boulder