Dr. Jacobs’ primary research interests are in classroom teaching, teacher and student learning, and teacher professional development. Most recently, Dr. Jacobs has helped to develop and study the impact of two mathematics professional development programs, both supported by the National Science Foundation.
The Problem-Solving Cycle Model of Mathematics Professional Development
Together with Hilda Borko (Stanford University) and Karen Koellner (Hunter College), Dr. Jacobs developed and extensively researched the Problem-Solving Cycle, a model of professional development that engages mathematics teachers in continuous cycles of professional learning. Detailed information about the Problem-Solving Cycle is available at psc.stanford.edu and in our recently published book:
Borko, H., Jacobs, J., Koellner, K. & Swackhamer, L. (2015). Mathematics professional development: Improving teaching using the Problem-Solving Cycle and Leadership Preparation models. Columbia University, NY: Teachers College Press.
Learning and Teaching Geometry: Videocases for Professional Development
Together with Nanette Seago (WestEd), Dr. Jacobs developed and researched materials for teacher professional development focused on geometry. In a pilot study, these materials were shown to significantly impact both teacher and student geometry knowledge. A portion of the materials is currently available at www.wested.org/resources/field-guide-to-geometric-transformations-congruence-and-similarity. We expect the full set of materials to be available in mid-2016.
Currently, Dr. Jacobs is conducting an Efficacy Study of the Learning and Teaching Geometry materials, together with Nanette Seago and Karen Koellner. This randomized control study aims to determine whether the materials produce a beneficial impact on teachers’ knowledge, classroom teaching, and students’ knowledge in the domain of geometry. Chao Wang, CU research associate, is also contributing to the Efficacy Study.