Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2017 Issue »

    Investigating Alignment Between Elementary Mathematics Teacher Education and Graduates’ Teaching of Mathematics for Conceptual Understanding

    AMANDA JANSEN, DAWN BERK, AND ERIN MEIKLE
    In this article, Amanda Jansen, Dawn Berk, and Erin Meikle investigate the impact of mathematics teacher education on teaching practices. In their study they interviewed six first-year teachers who graduated from the same elementary teacher education program and who were oriented toward teaching mathematics conceptually. They observed each teacher teaching two lessons: one on a mathematics topic that was developed in their teacher education program (target topic) and one on a mathematics topic that was not addressed in their program (control topic). Based on their observations, the authors identified four instructional practices for teaching mathematics conceptually that the participants used in their classroom practice and found that these teachers were more likely to enact two of these instructional practices when teaching target topics: use of mathematical language to support students’ sense making and use of visual representations. They also found that the teachers enacted two other instructional practices—use of story problems and pressing students for mathematical explanations—in both target and control topic lessons but did so with limitations in control topic lessons. For teacher education to influence teaching, the authors assert, it is important to develop content knowledge for teaching and pedagogical knowledge in tandem with developing beliefs.

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    Amanda Jansen is an associate professor in the mathematics education program in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She investigates students’ motivation and engagement in mathematics classrooms, including teachers’ efforts to create motivating and engaging learning opportunities. Her research also addresses how teachers learn to understand and then teach mathematics conceptually. Amanda has published her research in Mathematical Thinking and Learning, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, and The Elementary School Journal, among other journals, and coauthored (with James Middleton) the book Motivation Matters and Interest Counts: Fostering Engagement in Mathematics (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2011). In 2014 she received the Early Career Award from the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators for her significant contributions to mathematics teacher education.

    Dawn Berk is the founding director of the Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory and is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on investigating relationships between mathematics teaching, learning, and curriculum at the undergraduate level in the context of mathematics content courses for prospective teachers and foundational mathematics courses for prospective STEM majors. Dawn has served as a principal investigator on two grants from the National Science Foundation to investigate the effects of mathematics teacher preparation on teachers’ knowledge, skills, and classroom practices. Her work has appeared in journals such as Mathematical Thinking and Learning, Journal of Teacher Education, and The Elementary School Journal. Before joining the University of Delaware, she taught third grade in Baltimore City, Maryland.

    Erin Meikle is a visiting assistant professor of mathematics education in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, where she studies teachers’ understanding of learning goals to guide instructional decisions and improvement. Her work related to preservice teachers’ thinking about how to orchestrate class discussions in ways that promote learning goals has appeared in Mathematics Teacher Educator and Teaching Children Mathematics.


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    Summer 2017 Issue

    Abstracts

    Beyond Mediocrity
    The Dialectics of Crisis in the Continuing Miseducation of Black Youth
    BRIAN D. LOZENSKI
    Reclaiming Adolescence
    A Roma Youth Perspective
    JACQUELINE BHABHA, ARLAN FULLER, MARGARETA MATACHE, JELENA VRANJEŠEVIĆ, MIRIAM C. CHERNOFF, BORIS SPASIĆ, AND JELENA IVANIS
    Investigating Alignment Between Elementary Mathematics Teacher Education and Graduates’ Teaching of Mathematics for Conceptual Understanding
    AMANDA JANSEN, DAWN BERK, AND ERIN MEIKLE
    Strategic Coalitions Against Exclusion at the Intersection of Race and Disability—A Rejoinder
    KATHLEEN A. KING THORIUS AND FEDERICO R. WAITOLLER
    At the Nexus of Education and Incarceration
    Four Voices from the Field
    A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH JODY BECKER, BARBARA L. CARR, GILLIAN R. KNAPP, AND LUIS GUSTAVO GIRALDO
    One of Them
    RYAN MICHAEL COULSON
    Beyond the Wall
    MICHAEL SATTERFIELD
    Editor’s Review
    LAUREN YOSHIZAWA

    Book Notes

    Liberating Minds
    Ellen Condliffe Lagemann