Better Math Teaching Network: High School Teachers Continuously Improving Their Instruction
The Better Math Teaching Network comprised high school Algebra I teachers from across New England and researchers committed to deepening and expanding student-centered instruction in high school mathematics.
Algebra I is the gatekeeper to advanced math and science coursework, and far too many students lack the problem-solving and analytical skills they need to fundamentally understand algebra content.
This has broad implications since the STEM workforce is growing much faster than other job sectors. Simply put, the U.S. education system is not keeping up with this growing demand.
The network was designed to better understand student-centered instruction in high school mathematics. The project involved a Networked Improvement Community (NIC), where researchers and educators work side-by-side to examine instruction through a continuous improvement model.
The collaborative approach included specifying a common problem related to student-centered math teaching, testing out potential ways to address the problem, sharing how it went with others in the NIC, and continuing with additional cycles of testing, sharing, and refinement. Three types of student-centered learning opportunities were the focus: students actively making deep connections among math concepts, justifying their mathematical thinking, and solving and making sense of challenging problems.
Analyze Your Instruction
The Better Math Teaching Network developed resources for teachers seeking to reflect on and analyze their instruction to make it more student-centered. We developed the Guide for Reflecting on Instructional Depth, or GRID, and a four-part video series to help teachers reflect on their instruction.
Try a Teaching Strategy
These teaching ideas are instructional routines teachers can implement in their classrooms to help students become more deeply and actively engaged in understanding algebra. The ideas focus on how teachers can help students better engage, defined as making deep mathematical connections.
Test and Refine Your Strategy
The Plan, Do, Study, Act Process is central to the improvement of instructional routines. Watch one of the Better Math Teaching Network members in real time and in a real classroom setting introduce the process.