This open access book presents a comparative study on how large-scale professional development programs for teachers are designed and implemented. Around the world, governments and educators are recognizing the need to educate students in a broad range of higher order cognitive skills and socio-emotional competencies. Providing effective opportunities for teachers to develop the expertise needed to teach these skills is a crucial aspect of effective implementation of curricula which include those goals.
This study examines how large-scale efforts to empower teachers for deeper instruction have been designed, how they have been implemented, and their outcomes. To do so, it investigates six programs from England, Colombia, Mexico, India, and the United States. Though all six are intended to broaden and deepen students’ curricular aspirations, each takes this expansion of curricular goals in a different direction. The ambitious education reforms studied here explicitly focus on building teachers’ capacity to teach on a broader set of goals.
Schooling matters. The authors' professional pursuits for over twenty-five years have been focused on measuring one key aspect of schooling: the curriculum - what students are expected to study and what they spend their time studying. This documents their conviction that schools and schooling play a vital and defining role in what students know and are able to do with respect to mathematics and science. This research examines seventeen international studies of mathematics and science to provide a nuanced comparative education study. Whilst including multiple measures of students' family and home backgrounds, these studies measure the substance of the curriculum that students study which has been shown to have a strong relationship with student performance. Such studies have demonstrated the interrelatedness of student background and curriculum. Student background influences their opportunities to learn and their achievements, yet their schooling can have even greater significance.