Tallahassee, FL – A Learning Systems Institute (LSI) program to improve professional development for elementary school teachers and principals has already reached as many as 150,000 students in more than 200 Florida schools. In November 2018, LSI at Florida State University announced it would be conducting a five-year study funded by the U.S. Department of Education and run by the Cognitive Guided Instruction (CGI) team. The study provides CGI professional development in mathematics for 2,790 elementary teachers and 120 elementary school principals. The third and final year of the professional development portion of the “Foundations for Success” study was just completed last month.
“Teachers across the state have put a tremendous amount of effort into their professional growth through the Foundations for Success project,” said Robert Schoen, Ph.D., Associate Director, Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM). “These past couple of years have been the most difficult years in memory for educators but more than 2,000 elementary teachers stayed committed to this opportunity throughout this challenging time to continue to learn through CGI so that they can become better mathematics teachers.”
The Foundations for Success project aims to enhance elementary mathematics teacher effectiveness through the large-scale implementation of CGI professional development. The project activities are designed to provide CGI professional development in mathematics, increase teacher knowledge of mathematics and student learning progressions, increase teacher implementation of evidence-based practices in math instruction, increase student mathematics achievement with a focus on traditionally underserved and underrepresented students by enhancing CGI to meet their needs and establish structures to support teacher’s sustained implementation of high-quality mathematics instruction in Florida beyond the grant award period.
“FCR-STEM’s mission is to help improve STEM teaching and learning in the state of Florida and the evidence supporting a causal argument that CGI improves mathematics learning and achievement is increasing,” said Schoen. “With the funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, we forged great partnerships with fourteen school districts, charter schools and a few private schools. These partnerships span much of the geographic and demographic diversity of our state. Through these partners, the Foundations for Success project is scaling up the implementation of evidence-based practices in mathematics education while also creating new research-based knowledge about what works, for whom it works and under what conditions it works.
“Some of our work now is focusing on the creation of decentralized, sustainable funding mechanisms that do not rely on grant funding so that we may continue to scale up and provide evidence-based opportunities to learn how to improve mathematics teaching and learning for all Florida teachers and students.”
The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions that bridge theory and practice in education. For over 50 years, LSI has delivered systems that measurably improve the learning and performance of organizations and individuals here in Florida and globally. Our experts’ advanced research provides not only state-of-the-art methods but also a clear path for implementation.