Webinar Explores Preparing Educators for Common Core Math Standards

Last month, AACTE concluded its two-part online series on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with a webinar discussing preparation of preservice teachers for CCSS in mathematics. The webinar highlighted ways to engage candidates in thinking mathematically, figuring things out the way their PK-12 students will need to do, and using mathematics in context to better assist students in their learning.

The webinar, “Preparing Teacher Candidates for Common Core State Standards in Mathematics: The Sequel,” was presented December 15 by Reuben Asempapa from Ohio University along with Fran Arbaugh from Penn State University and Cynthia Vavasseur from Nicholls State University, and moderated by AACTE Senior Director Linda McKee. They discussed strategies for program leaders to work on their campuses to educate mathematicians and mathematics educators about the CCSS in mathematics and to bring them together to effectively prepare future teachers:

  • Asempapa shared key steps to develop preservice teachers’ content and pedagogical knowledge to implement the standards effectively: expose candidates to advanced mathematics courses throughout their program; develop methods courses that provide needed content and pedagogical background; cultivate communities of practices among in-service and preservice teachers and faculty; and engage candidates in a yearlong, clinically based model for teacher preparation.
  • Arbaugh offered three examples of educator preparation programs that are successfully engaging preservice teachers in learning opportunities that allow them to build mathematical understanding with meaning. For example, the elementary education program at the University of Missouri – Columbia pairs faculty from the college of education with math faculty to provide two semesters of integrated content and methods courses to teacher candidates, helping them make sense of mathematics and learn how to teach it.
  • Vavasseur concluded the webinar by highlighting screencasting as an innovative digital tool teachers can use to demonstrate mathematical problems in the classroom.

The webinar was the second held by AACTE last fall to magnify the success stories of the adaptive work happening in the field around CCSS. The first webinar, “Is Common Core Impossible?” featured the remarkably successful work of AACTE member institutions in Kentucky to integrate the standards in their programs. (Read AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson’s recent blog post about that webinar.) Both events were supported by the Learning First Alliance’s Get It Right campaign, which works to support CCSS implementation by encouraging educators to take the time to do it effectively. AACTE has archived recordings of both events in its online Resource Library.

Dozens of educators tuned into the webinars, and tweets promoting the sessions received thousands of impressions—signifying the high level of interest in ways educators around the nation are acclimating to the new standards. Participants in last month’s webinar cited implementation strategies as their top area of interest (see chart).

If you have a success story about how your educator preparation program is working with preservice and in-service teachers to assist PK-12 student learning aligned with CCSS, please share it with me at jthurman@aacte.org.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE