Mathematics Teacher Educator

  • Vol. 4, No. 2, March 2016

    Sandra Crespo, Editor, Mathematics Teacher Educator

    This MTE editorial explores the importance of peer-reviewed writing for not only research but also personal writing growth.

     

    Amanda Milewski, University of Michigan; Sharon Strickland, Texas State University
    In this article we examine an analytical framework generated by secondary mathematics teachers for tracking changes to their own instructional practices across time. We describe the journey of this group of teachers through professional development focused on improving instructional practice. In the midst of that experience, teachers struggled to find an analytical tool to examine one another’s practices of responding to students’ mathematical ideas and ultimately overcame this problem by considering the practitioner literature and their own experiences. We also describe how we adapted the framework to investigate its use for detecting shifts in teachers’ practices, sharing findings obtained from its use. Lastly, we argue for this type of collaborative work with teachers as a means to develop common language for instructional practice.
    Eva Thanheiser, Portland State University; Amanda Jansen, University of Delaware
    Engaging prospective elementary teachers (PTs) in participating productively by making their exploratory (rough draft) thinking public during class discussions remains a constant challenge for instructors of mathematics content courses for teachers, in part because of perspectives incoming PTs may hold about interacting in academic settings. In this article, we share the effects of an intervention designed to confront PTs’ incoming perspectives. PTs were provided with opportunities to label the level of completeness and correctness of their thinking before they displayed and discussed their written work publicly during a mathematics content course for teachers. Results indicated that labeling their work increased PTs’ level of comfort with sharing their thinking and awareness of the value of doing so. PTs also reported that the label served as a reflection tool. The label increased the PTs’ productive disposition in terms of comfort level with taking intellectual risks when doing mathematics and reflecting on their work.
    Dorothy Y. White, University of Georgia; Kanita K. DuCloux, Western Kentucky University; Ángel M. Carreras-Jusino, Darío A. González, and Kirsten Keels; University of Georgia
    We designed a student-centered cultural awareness unit as a resource for mathematics teacher educators (MTEs) who want to explore the issues of culture, equity, and diversity with their preservice teachers (PSTs) but are not sure how and where to start. This unit is an introductory step toward beginning to listen to PSTs’ views about culture and diversity in mathematics education. In this article, we report on three cohorts of PSTs who participated in the unit, which consisted of an article critique, class discussion, and postdiscussion reflection. We describe the methods courses, the unit, the impact of the unit on PSTs’ cultural awareness, our reflections as MTEs, and suggested modifications to the unit.
    Lisa M. Jilk, University of Washington
    Video cases and video clubs have become popular tools for supporting teacher learning. One concern is that many of the video projects discussed in the research literature may unintentionally continue to perpetuate deficit perspectives about students by focusing more on their gaps in understanding than on the strengths they bring to their learning. This article describes a video club that is part of a multidimensional professional development network that aims to re-culture mathematics classrooms so that all students have challenging and empowering learning experiences. I discuss shifts in teachers’ ways of seeing and talking about students’ mathematical activity that the video club has made possible, as well as features of the video club that have supported these shifts.
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