|Effective mathematics teaching requires understanding what students know and
need to learn and then challenging and supporting them to learn it
mathematics through the experiences that teachers provide. Teachers must know
and understand deeply the mathematics they are teaching and understand and be
committed to their students as learners of mathematics and as human beings.
There is no one "right
way" to teach. Nevertheless, much is known about effective mathematics teaching.
Selecting and using suitable curricular materials, using appropriate
instructional tools and techniques to support learning, and pursuing continuous
self-improvement are actions good teachers take every day.
The teacher is
responsible for creating an intellectual environment in the classroom where
serious engagement in mathematical thinking is the norm. Effective teaching
requires deciding what aspects of a task to highlight, how to organize and
orchestrate the work of students, what questions to ask students having varied
levels of expertise, and how to support students without taking over the process
of thinking for them.
requires continuing efforts to learn and improve. Teachers need to increase
their knowledge about mathematics and pedagogy, learn from their students and
colleagues, and engage in professional development and self-reflection.
Collaborating with others--pairing an experienced teacher with a new teacher or
forming a community of teachers--to observe, analyze, and discuss teaching and
students' thinking is a powerful, yet neglected, form of professional
Teachers need ample
opportunities to engage in this kind of continual learning. The working lives of
teachers must be structured to allow and support different models of
professional development that benefit them and their students.