Mathematics Teacher Educator

  • Vol. 6, No. 2, March 2018

    Editorial board members of the MTE journal join the presidents of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) (the two organizations that jointly publish this journal) in expressing concern at the recent attacks on mathematics education scholars whose research does not conform with and challenges dominant perspectives in mathematics education. Board members are compelled to speak up because these attacks undermine the principles of academic freedom and our field’s capacity to grow a trusted knowledge base.

    Kristen Bieda and Sandra Crespo
    Headlines reach readers’ email in-boxes on a weekly basis. The widespread use of Twitter (#iteachmath) and blogs (#mtbos) brings prospective and in-service teachers unprecedented access to knowledge and guidance that can inform teaching, but the sheer volume of available information comes at a cost: Authors feel they must entice readers with catchier titles and bolder claims, a phenomenon that is referred to in the popular media as clickbait. As readers are learning from the current political climate, U.S. culture may be becoming increasingly entranced with compelling headlines and less engaged with evidence to support those headlines.
    Laurie H. Rubel and Anders J. Stachelek

    This article shares the authors’ experiences in mathematics teacher education regarding professional development for teachers with a focus on student participation as an opportunity to learn. They describe a process through which educators can support teachers in increasing and improving classroom participation opportunities for their students. They present complementary tools that quantify and represent student participation in the mathematics classroom, and they demonstrate the effectiveness of these tools in supporting teacher growth in the context of a professional growth project for teachers in urban secondary schools. The authors analyze cases of two teachers in detail, using Clarke and Hollingsworth’s (2002) Interconnected Model of Professional Growth.

    Sandy Spitzer and Christine Phelps-Gregory

    To engage in lifelong systematic learning, prospective teachers (PTs) must be prepared to analyze teaching on the basis of its effects on student learning. The authors present results of an intervention study aimed at developing PTs’ ability to analyze a classroom video sample. The intervention used an online discussion board activity structured along three research-based dimensions, which allowed PTs to build their analysis skills outside of class time. Evidence for this intervention’s effectiveness includes findings that PTs engaged deeply with their peers’ ideas, many changing their mind about the lesson’s success, and that PTs’ final reflections showed increased attention to the mathematics of the learning goal. However, after the intervention, many PTs continued to take nonmathematical evidence as indicators of student learning. Implications illuminate key design features of interventions as well as the affordances and challenges of using online interactions for improving PTs’ lesson analysis skills.

    Tim Fukawa-Connelly, Valerie Klein, Jason Silverman, and Wesley Shumar

    At the heart of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (2014) is the development of professional practices such as eliciting and using evidence of student thinking, supporting productive struggle in learning mathematics, and posing purposeful questions. The authors’ emerging work in online professional development for teachers provides potentially cost-effective ways of scaling high-quality, effective professional development for mathematics teachers by employing the collaborative features of the Internet to mediate professional conversations and interactions. Specifically, the authors detail the characteristics of their model for online professional development and present cases to illustrate its potential impact on teachers’ ability to analyze student work and provide productive feedback. 

    Paulo Tan and Kathleen King Thorius
    Despite the push for inclusive mathematics education, students with disabilities continue to lack access to, and achievement in, rich mathematics learning opportunities. The authors assert that mathematics teacher educators have a central role in addressing these contradictions, including enacting facilitative moves during mathematics teacher professional learning to encounter and counter social forces, which they denote in this article as en/counters. As part of a larger study, they explored the extent to which the use of an inclusive education-oriented tool, developed and introduced during a teacher learning program, elicited en/counters that mediated participants’ learning toward inclusive mathematics education. They discuss shifts in participants’ conversational content and focus on surrounding practices that involved students with disabilities and features of the tool and processes that supported these shifts, including specific facilitative moves that helped redirect deficit-focused conversations. 
    Rochelle Gutiérrez

    Mathematics teacher education is in an interesting historical moment. On the one hand, there is greater realization within our field of the connections between systems of power and mathematics (O’Neil, 2016). Those in the field are starting to acknowledge how mathematics education can be viewed as dehumanizing for both students and teachers as well as what might constitute rehumanizing practices (Gutiérrez, in press). Professional organizations are calling for teachers to move beyond simplistic notions of equity to understand these power dimensions and challenge the system on behalf of (and in community with) Black,1 Indigenous,2 and Latinx3 students in particular.

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