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Evaluation of the Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership (GBMP): A Comprehensive Approach to Evaluating Changes in Teachers' Mathematics Understanding


"The focus of this paper and a significant portion of the evaluation of the [Greater Birmingham Mathematics] project is on measuring the effectiveness of the professional development provided through the GBMP summer courses in improving the mathematics understanding of middle grades teachers in the first course of the 7-course series. One of the most challenging aspects of evaluating the effectiveness of professional development in mathematics education is finding or developing instruments to measure changes in teachers' content knowledge. Typically, content knowledge in mathematics is viewed rather narrowly as an ability to arrive at an accurate answer to a mathematical problem. Very rarely is there an interest in examining the problem-solving process, including misconceptions and verification, as a pathway to understanding. This evaluation takes a more expansive view of mathematical content knowledge and uses a variety of data sources that provide a more complete picture of teachers as learners and teachers of mathematics than what could be gleaned from a multiple choice test."