March 2016, Vol. 4, Issue 2
Inviting Prospective Teachers to Share Rough Draft Mathematical Thinking
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.
Key words: Prospective elementary teachers, Elementary mathematics teacher education, Mathematics content courses for teachers, Participation, Engagement, Motivation, Rough draft talk, Exploratory talk
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