CPM’s Equity Principles: A Work in Progress

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Krista Holstein, Cary, NC  kristaholstein@cpm.org

Over the past year, employees at CPM have been reflecting on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have read materials, attended webinars, and engaged in conversations related to social justice issues. We continue to do the important work of discussing and reflecting on these issues internally as well as with the larger CPM family.

As part of this work, we created a document detailing our equity principles. Our current draft is shown below. We ask that the CPM community read through these principles and provide feedback (CPM Equity Principles Feedback Form). Your input will help us continue to reflect and keep others’ perspectives in mind. Your feedback will be invaluable as we create the final draft of these equity principles.

CPM’s Vision
CPM envisions a world where mathematics is viewed as intriguing and useful, and is appreciated by all; where powerful mathematical thinking is an essential, universal, and desirable trait; and where people are empowered by mathematical problem solving and reasoning to solve the world’s problems.

CPM’s Mission
CPM’s mission is to empower mathematics students and teachers through exemplary curriculum, professional development, and leadership. We recognize and foster teacher expertise and leadership in mathematics education. We engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication.

CPM uses the following principles to guide our path toward this vision and mission.

  1. The goal of teaching is to help dependent learners become independent learners.
    We recognize that “a disproportionate number of culturally and linguistically diverse students are dependent learners” (Hammond, 2014, p. 13). Direct instruction and rote memorization are ineffective practices when working with dependent learners. All students can learn and benefit from productive struggle. In addition, we note that while answers are important, they may not always be the goal. We instead focus on taking steps toward mastery and developing an academic mindset. We strive to provide engaging curriculum, interesting tasks, and empowering instruction to all students.
  2. Relationships are of vital importance.
    Our curriculum and professional development are designed to help teachers generate trust, build rapport, and create social-emotional connections with their students. We encourage teachers to become warm demanders. Teachers are more able to react appropriately to students when they understand their needs and backgrounds; they should seek out and embrace opportunities to gain these insights. Students are more willing to take intellectual risks if they trust their teacher and see them as an ally. Classroom strategies and activities that build the classroom community and trust should not be skipped as unnecessary.
  3. Student differences are assets, not deficits.
    Students come from different cultures, have different ways of learning, and may demonstrate their understanding in a variety of ways. We view these differences as assets and believe that students excel within their strengths. The educational environment should build upon these differences – utilizing cultural knowledge as a scaffold rather than as something to be corrected – and avoid one-size-fits-all learning. We aim to help teachers respond to different students’ needs and backgrounds.
  4. Reflection is a crucial part of growth.
    Biases, lenses, values, and backgrounds influence our work at CPM as well as the educational environment. We acknowledge and regularly reflect on these influences as we work with teachers and develop curriculum. In addition, we encourage teachers and other stakeholders to reflect on these influences as they plan, teach, and assess students.

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Algebra Tiles Session

  • Used throughout CPM middle and high school courses
  • Concrete, geometric representation of algebraic concepts.
  • Two-hour virtual session,
  •  Learn how students build their conceptual understanding of simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Solving equations using these tools.  
  • Determining perimeter,
  • Combining like terms,
  • Comparing expressions,
  • Solving equations
  • Use an area model to multiply polynomials,
  • Factor quadratics and other polynomials, and
  • Complete the square.
  • Support the transition from a concrete (manipulative) representation to an abstract model of mathematics..

Foundations for Implementation

This professional learning is designed for teachers as they begin their implementation of CPM. This series contains multiple components and is grounded in multiple active experiences delivered over the first year. This learning experience will encourage teachers to adjust their instructional practices, expand their content knowledge, and challenge their beliefs about teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders will gain first-hand experience with CPM with emphasis on what they will be teaching. Throughout this series educators will experience the mathematics, consider instructional practices, and learn about the classroom environment necessary for a successful implementation of CPM curriculum resources.

Page 2 of the Professional Learning Progression (PDF) describes all of the components of this learning event and the additional support available. Teachers new to a course, but have previously attended Foundations for Implementation, can choose to engage in the course Content Modules in the Professional Learning Portal rather than attending the entire series of learning events again.

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Building on Instructional Practice Series

This series contains three different courses, taken in either order. The courses are designed for schools and teachers with a minimum of one year of experience teaching with CPM curriculum materials. Teachers will develop further understanding of strategies and tools for instructional practices and assessment.

Building on Equity

In this course, participants will learn how to include equitable practices in their  classroom and support traditionally underserved students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Participants will reflect on how their math identity and mindsets impact student learning. They will begin working on a plan for implementing Chapter 1 that creates an equitable classroom culture and curate strategies for supporting all students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Follow-up during the school year will support ongoing implementation of equitable classroom practices.

Building on Assessment

In this course, participants will apply assessment research to develop methods to provide feedback to students and to inform equitable assessment decisions. Participants will develop assessment action plans that will encourage continued collaboration within their learning community.

Building on Discourse

This professional learning builds upon the Foundations for Implementation Series by improving teachers’ ability to facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse. This learning experience will encourage participants to adjust their instructional practices in the areas of sharing math authority, developing independent learners, and the creation of equitable classroom environments. Participants will plan for student learning by using teaching practices such as posing purposeful questioning, supporting productive struggle, and facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse. In doing so, participants learn to support students collaboratively engaged with rigorous, team-worthy tasks with all elements of the Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices.