The Early Math in Illinois report outlines several areas for improvement in professional development for ECE professionals based on extensive research of best practice and current practice. The research revealed that there was an underwheliming amount of math education at the community college level and few opportunities for professional development exclusively in math for practicing teachers.
The challenges and barriers were described as:
In Higher Ed…
Lack of educators/access to higher education by providers
Lack of alignment between two and four-year institutions
Lack of understanding about how early math methods should be taught
Lack of qualifications among faculty who teach early math methods
In Professional Development….
Lace of access to professional development
Lack of buy-in to the need for professional development in early math
Lack of understanding of developmental progressions in early math
Once the challenges and barriers were identified, the Illinois Early Math Advisory Committee developed three major recommendation areas for improvement with several specific and immediate ideas outlined.
1. Organization Strategies
2. Higher Education Strategies
3. Professional Development Strategies
Over the next three weeks, I am going to “unpack” these strategic areas and provide a forum to discuss the more specific ideas for implementation.