Long Term Professional Development

The CMP materials reflect the understanding that teaching and learning are not distinct- "what to teach" and "how to teach it" are inextricably linked. The circumstances in which students learn affect what is learned. The needs of both students and teachers are considered in the development of the CMP curriculum materials. This curriculum helps teachers and those who work to support teachers examine their expectations for students and analyze the extent to which classroom mathematics tasks and teaching practices align with their goals and expectations. In developing the CMP curriculum, we have taken the following words of Jerome Bruner to heart:

If it (new curriculum) cannot change, move, perturb, inform teachers, it will have no effect on those they teach. It must first and foremost be a curriculum for teachers. If it has any effect on pupils, it will have it by virtue of having an effect on teachers. (Bruner 1977, p. xv)

The overarching goal of CMP is to help students and teachers develop mathematical knowledge, understanding, and skill along with an awareness of and appreciation for the rich connections among mathematical strands and between mathematics and other disciplines. The CMP curriculum development has been guided by our single mathematical standard:

All students should be able to reason and communicate proficiently in mathematics. They should have knowledge of and skill in the use of the vocabulary, forms of representation, materials, tools, techniques, and intellectual methods of the discipline of mathematics, including the ability to define and solve problems with reason, insight, inventiveness, and technical proficiency.

CMP was written to support both teacher and student needs. Teaching CMP often requires a teacher to shift from a direct instruction, teacher centered class to one that is problem-based and the teacher as a support in helping students develop understanding and skills as they explore rich problem situations. Long-term professional development is important for a successful implementation of CMP. The sections that follow provide details on essential components of professional development.