The Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership: Phase II (GBMP-2) project is a Partnership among the University of Alabama at Birmingham, as the lead institution, Birmingham-Southern College, and seven core Partner school systems: Fairfield City Schools, Homewood City Schools, Hoover City Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Shelby County Schools, Tarrant City Schools, and Trussville City Schools. The Mathematics Education Collaborative serves as a supporting Partner. This Phase II effort builds upon successes and lessons learned in the Phase I GBMP targeted work. The focus of GBMP-2 is on bringing to scale the implementation of inquiry-based instruction to produce significant improvement in student achievement. Teachers participate in professional development that deepens mathematics content and pedagogical knowledge and improves mathematical dispositions. GBMP-2's intent is to demonstrate that the gains in student achievement shown in Phase I in high implementing grade levels can be brought to scale in participating schools in grades 6-8. The end result of this Phase II work is statistically significant improved student achievement in classrooms of teachers of mathematics who create an inquiry-based learning environment that supports learning challenging mathematics.

GBMP-2 seeks to establish "replicability and generalizability" in relation to research questions associated with student achievement and with bringing implementation to scale. The research design investigates the following questions: How does the achievement of students in classrooms with a high level of implementation of inquiry-based instruction compare with the achievement of students in classrooms with a moderate or low level of implementation of inquiry-based instruction? To what degree does exposure to a high level of implementation of inquiry-based instruction reduce discrepancies in disaggregated student achievement data? To what degree does active participation in professional learning communities that focus on the implementation of inquiry-based pedagogy and aligned assessment affect instruction and assessment in the classroom? To what degree does a support structure that includes an inquiry-based curriculum and the support of administrators, colleagues, and parents affect the extent and depth of implementation of inquiry-based instruction within a middle school? What conditions are necessary to bring implementation of inquiry-based instruction to scale across middle schools with diverse demographic variables?

The GBMP-2 model for bringing the inquiry-based teaching and learning to scale engages teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and university STEM and education faculty all in support of middle grades learners. Teachers of middle grades mathematics in participating schools take two, nine-day summer courses in mathematics in addition to those taken in Phase I, from a list of seven challenging, inquiry-based mathematics content courses. They actively participate in school-based professional learning communities focused on implementing inquiry-based pedagogy and aligned assessment. Principals of participating schools attend administrator sessions in support of creating instructional environments that foster learning rigorous mathematics by all students. Partner district superintendents provide inquiry-based curriculum and access to student achievement data. Parents are involved in Community Mathematics Nights to promote understanding and support of their learners through five audience-participation sessions. Mathematicians and mathematics educators participate in the courses as students and as instructors and revise university mathematics courses to employ the GBMP definition of challenging courses and curriculum, which is a focus on: big mathematical ideas; inquiry and reflection; oral and written communication; and developing productive disposition.

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University of Alabama Birmingham
United States
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