Reducing Inequalities in Opportunities to Learn Mathematics through Adaptive Teacher Professional Development

How can schools design teacher professional development to incorporate asset-based, culturally relevant approaches to math instruction for Latinx students?

Recent data suggests that students’ math skills will likely be more severely affected by the pandemic than other academic outcomes. Given historical racial and ethnic inequalities in math, models for improving math instruction are even more urgently needed. Santagata and team will use a design-based intervention approach to work in partnership with teachers, school leaders, families, and community members to build a professional development program to improve teachers’ mathematics instruction of Latinx students. They will integrate cognitively guided instruction, which focuses on teaching students how to make sense of core mathematical concepts, with culturally responsive teaching, which promotes a culturally-relevant, asset-based approach to instruction. The team will engage in two cycles of design, implementation, and analysis in two California schools to create a professional development program that is adaptive to teachers’ needs and challenges, as well as to the local context. They will also examine how tensions and barriers that arise in the research, development, and implementation process are resolved and addressed in each school. Findings from this study will inform policy and practice by providing insight into school- and district-level conditions that support or limit professional development that incorporates culturally responsive pedagogy.