By Reino Makkonen and Elizabeth Burr, WestEd

This Knowledge Brief is part of a continuing series designed to inform California education leaders about key policy issues related to teachers and teaching in the Golden State.

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As California revises its K–12 math framework, and as educators and students grapple with lost instructional time due to COVID-19, now is an excellent moment to better understand and support effective math instruction in the Golden State.

Our latest brief, What California math teachers are saying about instruction and professional learning today, summarizes California-specific findings from a nationwide survey on math teachers’ perceptions of their instructional materials, instruction, and professional learning. These insights into teachers’ perspectives, along with a curated collection of resources and sources of support, can be used to inform timely improvements to math education in California.

Findings discussed in the brief include:

  • California math teachers expressed optimism that all students can master key math concepts and indicated that they are prioritizing conceptual content and less frequently leveling students by ability than are teachers in other states.
  • According to California teachers, the state’s current professional learning environment is characterized more by peer teacher collaboration than by individual coaching from the district.
  • Survey results suggest that there is a need for more effective math professional learning opportunities, particularly in the middle and high school grades.
  • California math teachers are not relying on their district leaders for classroom materials.
  • To improve their students’ academic performance, California math teachers reported relying on their own observations and self-created classroom tasks, assignments, or projects.

Download the brief