Our Professional Development Philosophy

The Mathematics and Computer Science Collaborative at Bridgewater State University has a proud 33 year history of providing meaningful professional development for area mathematics educators. Each year MACS develops a series of workshops based upon a carefully selected and relevant theme. MACS does not view professional development as “one shot deal” or “make and take” workshop opportunities. Rather, it is the intent that teachers will broaden and deepen their understanding of mathematics content and effective pedagogy.

Current research supports the idea that teachers more effectively teach mathematics at their respective grade level if they have an understanding of mathematics in a deeper more conceptual way. Teachers should further understand effective pedagogy that builds on students’ prior experience and how this experience impacts future learning. Effective mathematics teachers deeply understand the mathematics beyond the grade level at which they are teaching. The National Research Council has stated, “International comparisons indicate that the most powerful instrument for change in student performance is improved teaching. A highly effective level of teaching requires a deep knowledge of the mathematics being taught, as well as an understanding of what is most important to learn and what is most difficult to understand. It engages students not only in the computational aspects of mathematics, but also in its more meaningful conceptual aspects. And, it involves problem solving as students learn and apply the lesson content.”

The MACS philosophy of professional development is grounded in this research. It is the Collaborative’s goal to provide opportunities for teachers to see the “big picture” of improved mathematics teaching and learning through experiences that broaden and deepen their own understanding of mathematics concepts and effective pedagogy.

We at MACS hope that you enjoy this year’s seminars and truly do come away with a deeper, broader understanding of the mathematics you are teaching.