Inspiration.

Not a day goes by that I notice different things in life that inspire me. Today it was an article, and a conversation with a colleague around teachings of Buddhism. I will discuss the article now, and save Buddhism for a later post. Paola Sztajn and colleagues recently published an article on theory supporting mathematics professional development around learning trajectory based instruction.

Sztajn, P., Wilson, P. H., Edgington, C., Myers, M., & Teachers, P. (2014). Mathematics professional development as design for boundary encounters. ZDM, 46, 201-212.

The article was theoretical in nature, and inspired me to want to write theoretical pieces of research. It gave a solid example of principles that guided the professional development activity around linking research and practice (without explicitly using the words “linking research and practice”). From a communities of practice lens (Wenger, 1998), both teachers and researchers had shared boundary objects that provided a basis for shared activities and a mutual exchange of knowledge. This work inspired me to be explicit about the incorporation of design principles to guide the work of professional development. It also inspired a possibly new direction of research focused on professional development as a site for research in which both researchers and teachers are learning from each other. Sztajn and colleagues (2014) argue that research on mathematics professional development can be a productive avenue for teachers’ knowledge to inform research, and vice versa.

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