• Characterizing a Perspective Underlying the Practice of Mathematics Teachers in Transition

    Martin A. Simon, Ron Tzur, Karen Heinz, Margaret Kinzel, Margaret Schwan Smith
    We postulate a construct, perception-based perspective, that we consider to be fundamental to the practices of many teachers currently participating in mathematics education reform in the United States. The postulation of the construct resulted from analyses of data from teaching experiments in teacher education classes with a combined group of prospective and practicing teachers and from case studies with individuals from that group. A perception-based perspective is grounded in a view of mathematics as a connected, logical, and universally accessible part of an ontological reality. From this perspective, learning mathematics with understanding requires learners' direct (firsthand) perception of relevant mathematical relationships. Analyses of data are presented and implications of the construct for mathematics teaching and mathematics teacher education are discussed.