Graduate School of Education
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Charles E. Ducommun Professor in the Graduate School of EducationOn Leave from 01/01/2023 To 03/31/2023
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsToward a Scalable Model of Mathematics Professional Development: A Field Study of Preparing Facilitators to Implement the Problem-Solving Cycle
The Problem-Solving Cycle (PSC) model of mathematics professional development encourages teachers to become part of a collaborative and supportive learning community. As they participate in the PSC, teachers think deeply about both mathematics content and instruction, and they explore their instructional practices with their colleagues through the use of video and other classroom artifacts. One iteration of the PSC consists of three interconnected professional development workshops, all organized around a rich mathematical task. During Workshop 1, teachers collaboratively solve the mathematical task and develop plans for teaching it to their own students. Shortly after the workshop, the teachers implement the problem with their own students and their lessons are videotaped. In Workshop 2 teachers explore the role they played in implementing the problem. In Workshop 3 teachers critically examine students’ mathematical reasoning.
The Problem-Solving Cycle model provides a structure for mathematics teachers to work together and share a common mathematical and pedagogical experience. Our previous research suggests that it is a promising model for enhancing teachers’ knowledge and supporting changes in classroom practice.
In our current project, initiated in Fall 2007, we are working with a group of middle school mathematics teachers in a large urban district to foster their leadership capacity, and specifically to prepare them to facilitate the Problem-Solving Cycle. We will provide 2½ years of preparation and support for teachers who have been designated as “mathematics instructional leaders.” These instructional leaders will in turn implement the PSC with the mathematics teachers in their schools. We will document the range and quality of the instructional leaders’ implementation of the PSC. We will also analyze the impact of the professional development process on the mathematical knowledge and classroom teaching of the instructional leaders and the mathematics teachers with whom they work. In addition, we will analyze the impact on their students’ mathematics achievement. By the conclusion of the project, we anticipate that the participating schools will have the infrastructure and capacity to carry out the PSC indefinitely, using their own resources. In addition, the project will produce a highly refined set of PSC facilitation materials—with a strong emphasis on supporting a linguistically and culturally diverse student population—that can be widely disseminated.
Senior Manager, Stanford Digital Learning Initiative, GSE Dean's Office Operations
BioFor over 15 years, I have worked in the fields of international relief, development, and conflict resolution, building capacity in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as educating students in the U.S., Europe, and other countries who aspire to work in these fields.
Academics & Film
I've worked as an academic and filmmaker, creating educational documentaries on liberation movements around the world, which I've then used with university students in my classrooms. I've had several programs distributed by the Discovery Channel, which has been rewarding, but what has been especially remarkable to me is the response of my students. I've come to appreciate the power of narrative and immediacy of film to transform students' perceptions of the world and their place in it.
Along with an emphasis on narrative and immediacy, I've built interactive programs that draw students into learning through exploration and discovery - with a dynamically shifting experience based on student choice and response. I've also developed learning programs featuring advanced multiplayer simulations with both live and online interaction.
I've taken this work to scale. In my work for the U.S. Government and international humanitarian organizations, I've created courses that have been completed by tens of thousands of students and practitioners, not only at the State Department, USAID, relief agencies, and universities in the U.S., but also at comparable institutions in other countries, and even in internet cafes and refugee camps around the world. I've earned about a dozen awards for these various efforts.
I am continuing this work here at Stanford. My focus now is on using new media and technology to bring university students in the U.S. and other high-income countries into extended contact with counterpart students in fragile states and zones of conflict to address complex problems that no single country can solve on its own. As students work collaboratively to address these "wicked" problems, we measure advances in learning and shifts in attitude through qualitative and quantitative methods.
This is an extraordinary time for those who use media and technology in teaching and learning. Blended in smart combinations, especially with traditional in-person learning, the new tools we have are powerful:
- Visual narrative, through its expression in digital cinema
- Expanding and interconnecting networks of lifelong learners
- Complex human interaction, including multiplayer games and simulations
- Complex machine interaction, dynamically responsive to learner needs
- Statistical data analysis, upon which to base informed, iterative human-centered design
- Worldwide electronic distribution, especially to inexpensive mobile devices
If we do this right, the world will be much better for it.
Jessica Christine Boyle
Ph.D. Student in Education, admitted Autumn 2018
Ph.D. Minor, Sociology
BioJessica Boyle is a doctoral candidate in education policy at Stanford University and a Health Policy Research Scholar at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She received her M.Ed. in education policy and management at Harvard University and her B.A. in sociology at Colby College. Prior to Stanford, she spent several years working at Harvard’s Education Redesign Lab, where she focused on the role of city government in addressing the iron-law correlation between socioeconomic status and education outcomes.
Shaped by her experiences as an unaccompanied homeless youth and first-generation college student, Jessica researches education as a lever of social mobility and explores the potential of big data to inform social policy. Her current projects are focused on examining the relationship between ecological health factors and academic achievement, with a particular focus on the opioid crisis.
Professor of Education
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Brown's current research examines issues of stress, culture, and language. His work examines how science is taught is ways that may alienate urban students due to the approach to language instruction. This work includes experimental work involving technology based education and inner city teaching practices.