Knowledge, learning, documentation, networks and creating a shared language
Thursday, December 3, 2020, 7:20-7:50 p.m.
The use of mathematics by means of modeling and reasoning has been identified by many countries around the world as one of the goals for their middle school mathematics curriculum. Israel is now taking initial steps in this direction while learning from others and from the accumulating experience in Israel. Professional communities of developers, teachers and decision makers are beginning to form around this endeavor, with joint learning taking place in various institutions and networks.
Philanthropy has a role in assisting the development of such professional communities. A foundation can help pool relevant data and gather the experts around it. Since we embarked on our journey in middle school, we have been making efforts to collect data, commission research, analyze surveys and document practice. We are encouraging our partners to hold meetings and workshops, where they jointly discuss the findings, suggest insights and share their practice with each other.
Since the COVID-19 crisis erupted, face-to-face study meetings are not possible. However, with Zoom and the time that is available for now-homebound professionals, it became possible to hold online meetings. During the past few months, many such meetings have taken place among Israeli experts as well as with professional from high performing countries, such as the Nederlands, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, and Germany.
Over the next two years, the foundation intends to shift its focus from development to implementation. Therefore, our research and convening activities will concentrate on documenting practice and on shared learning from the field. As the new instructional materials are integrated in new excellence classes, we are planning to set in motion frameworks for cluster evaluation and for discourse among decision makers, developers, teachers, education networks, local authorities and schools.
Questions for deliberation
- What types of documentation and evaluation should we use in shifting toward implementation in schools?
- Should we focus on cluster evaluation, and how should it be performed in a way that respects and appreciates the differences between programs?
- How should we use professional networks to increase a sense of shared goal, and as a vehicle to ensure continuity and durability of the programs?
Background material for the discussion