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Problem Solving Cycle (PSC)

The primary goal of this project is to refine and develop tools for building leadership capacity within schools in order to provide ongoing mathematics professional development for teachers. More specifically, the project has three major foci: the preparation of local middle-school “Math Leaders” to facilitate the Problem-Solving Cycle (PSC) professional-development program in their schools; the preparation of district and school leaders to support the structure and processes of the professional-development program; and the creation of a set of shared, digitally-enhanced instructional products to support “Math Leaders” and district and school leaders in conducting PSC professional-development programming.

The PSC is an iterative, long-term approach to supporting teacher learning. Each iteration of the PSC consists of three interconnected workshops in which teachers share a common mathematical and pedagogical experience organized around a rich mathematical task. Central activities for participants include solving the mathematical task, teaching it to their students, and using video from the lessons to situate explorations of students’ mathematical reasoning and teachers’ instructional practices. Successive iterations build on one another and capitalize on teachers’ expanding knowledge, interests, and sense of community. 

This project is led by Hilda Borko, Susan Million, and Charmaine Mangram.

Download brief

Visit the PSC website »