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Project Description

Effective, high-quality PD reaches only a small percentage of math teachers (1,2), leaving many students without access to ambitious mathematics teaching. Geography, logistics, and cost create barriers to teachers’ participation in impactful PD (e.g., 3), making face-to-face PD with small groups of teachers difficult to scale, with those who teach historically underserved populations or in remote areas more likely to be impacted.


To scale high-quality PD while attending to cost and accessibility, innovative strategies are needed (4).

For this reason, more and more, experts and policy makers are advocating for more teacher PD to be delivered online (3,5,6). Asynchronous PD--in which teachers are able to participate "anytime, anywhere", vs. a group meeting online at a specific time--offers even more flexibility and access, something teachers say is extremely important to them (7).

The Video in the Middle project was initially funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (award #1720507) in 2017, with the goal of creating and testing 40 two-hour asynchronous, online professional development modules for middle grades mathematics teachers.

The modules are based on two sets of highly-regarded face-to-face PD materials:


1) Learning and Teaching Linear Functions: Video Cases for Mathematics Professional Development, which focuses on topics related to linear functions such as slope, y-intercept, and representing constant change. These VIM modules also emphasize key pedagogical practices for teaching linear functions topics such as using multiple representations, using color to connect different representations, and exploring and connecting a variety of solution strategies.

2) Learning and Teaching Geometry, which focuses on topics related to transformational geometry such as rotation, translation, scaling, dilation, rotation, and similarity and congruence. These VIM modules support teachers in thinking about similarity and congruence from a transformational perspective and in connecting transformational geometry to linchpin concepts from linear functions such as slope and y-intercept.

Each module centers around a short classroom video clip in which students explore and discuss a mathematics task. In addition to learning goals around mathematics content and pedagogical strategies, each module focuses on an important research-based instructional practice such as planning and posing purposeful questions, positioning students as mathematically competent, or eliciting and using student thinking.

1 - Hill, H. C. (2009). Fixing teacher professional development. Phi Delta Kappan, 90(7), 470-476.

2 - Archibald, S., Coggshall, J. G., Croft, A., & Goe, L. (2011). High-quality professional development for all teachers: Effectively allocating resources. Research & Policy Brief. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.


3 - Dede, C., Jass Ketelhut, D., Whitehouse, P., Breit, L., & McCloskey, E. M. (2009). A research agenda for online teacher professional development. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(1), 8-19.


4 - Cai, J., Morris, A., Hwang, S., Hohensee, C., Robinson, V., & Hiebert, J. (2017). Improving the impact of educational research. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 48, 2–6.


5 - Dede, C., Eisenkraft, A., Frumin, K., & Hartley, A. (Eds.). (2016). Teacher learning in the digital age: Online professional development in STEM education. Harvard Education Press.

6 - U.S. Department of Education (2010). Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology; National education technology plan. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology.


7 - Parsons, S. A., Hutchison, A. C., Hall, L. A., Parsons, A. W., Ives, S. T., & Leggett, A. B. (2019). U.S. teachers’ perceptions of online professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 82, 33–42.

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