Teachers continue to learn after they leave college through experiences they have with their students and through formal professional development. Offered through school districts and other educational organizations, professional development (commonly referred to as PD in the educational setting) often encourages teachers to change their instruction using research-based methods that better facilitate student learning.
However, it can be difficult for K-12 teachers to adopt new methods, especially as they navigate the complexities of their classrooms. Many teachers also feel responsible for their students’ learning and hesitate to use an unfamiliar instructional approach or untested curriculum.
With a new $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, researchers at the University of Delaware will partner with the Delaware Mathematics Coalition (DMC) to understand the challenges teachers face as they try to change the way they teach and the support that could help teachers overcome these obstacles.