This article reports on a qualitative analysis of interviews with 122 middle-grades teachers in two large urban districts regarding their views of their students’ mathematical capabilities in relation to ambitious instructional improvement efforts. Findings indicate that it is crucial to attend to teachers’ views of students’ mathematical capabilities in the context of reform along two dimensions: how teachers make sense of students’ difficulty and how teachers can support students facing difficulty in participating substantially in rigorous mathematical activity.
In this article, we implemented a latent class analysis to study the extent to which math attitudes and self-efficacy influence careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) using the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002). We examined these patterns for 10th grade native and non-native English speakers and followed their trajectories ten years later.
This article explores the effects of computer-based learning activities in math classrooms on STEM major selection in 4-year postsecondary institutions. The author uses a nationally representative sample of U.S. young adults who enrolled in 4-year postsecondary institutions by 2006.
This article highlights the early outcomes of the T STEM initiative in Texas, the largest investment in scaling up inclusive STEM-focused schools at the time. It describes the broad infrastructure undergirding T STEM academy development.
Using data derived from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, this article examines how the social capital of students who are able to exercise curricular choice is associated with the achievement outcomes associated with these choices.
This article specifies two models of mathematics instruction—dialogic and direct—based on a series of conversations with nationally recognized experts who hold opposing points of view, and provides a discussion of the sources that underlie ongoing debates.
This study examines the influence of high school exposure to basic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, high school exposure to STEM-related environment and activities, high school quantity of exposure to precollege STEM classes, and the quality of the latter for a sample of college-bound North Carolina students’ intent to major in STEM and likelihood of declaring a STEM major. Special attention is given to the differential association with students of different races/ethnicities and gender.
This chapter describes a partnership with four urban districts that aimed to develop an empirically grounded theory of action for improving the quality of mathematics instruction at scale. Each year, we conducted a data collection, analysis, and feedback cycle in each district that involved documenting the district’s improvement strategies, collecting and analyzing data to assess how these strategies were being implemented, reporting the findings to the district, and making recommendations about how the strategies might be revised. We distinguish between two distinct levels
The article describes a theory of action that led to the development of seven 1½-hour in-service workshops focused on helping teachers to teach rational numbers to students. Students from diverse SES schools were tested pre and post, and the resulting effect sizes indicate students made notable gains in their understanding and proficiency with rational numbers.
This paper presents two years of analysis of a professional development effort in an urban district in Arizona in the wake of policy requirements to track students by language proficiency level, mandate four hours of English Language Development each day, and focus on teaching grammatical structures. The professional development focused on Cognitively Guided Instruction, which centers mathematics instruction on the informal knowledge students bring with them to schooling to build meaning, sophistication, and understanding of the mathematics. Results indicate that before the policy, professional development produced more teacher experimentation than after.
This article outlines the research questions that organize the two cases that are at the heart of this special issue, introduces the theoretical perspectives behind the project from which the cases are drawn, and describes the selection procedures for the data corpus from which the articles in the issue were developed. It also explains the interrelationships among the six pieces in the issue. In doing so, the article problematizes contemporary discourse about urban education and presents an argument for what might be learned from the practices of well-respected African American teachers of high school mathematics in large, nonselective urban schools.
This article focuses on a well-respected young Black male algebra teacher in an urban high school whose practice differs from that of many of his colleagues in one regular feature of classroom interaction, what the authors have come to call “speeches.” This article lays out examples of the speeches and, using themes from the literature on culturally relevant classroom management, illustrates how these themes are regularly present throughout the speeches and capture the stance this teacher takes in his interactions with students. The cultural resources that this young teacher brings to his practice challenge educational researchers to conceptualize the role of such resources in teaching and teacher educators to consider the recruitment of teachers who have such resources, as well as how to teach prospective teachers to develop and utilize such resources in their teaching.
This article offers a case study of the practice of one well-respected African American algebra teacher in an urban high school. This teacher’s practice differs from that of many of her colleagues in its departure from the pacing and order of the district curriculum guide in search of an experience of coherence and meaning for her students. The article explores her reasons for making such decisions and the beliefs and knowledge that allow her to do so; some of her beliefs and motives seem to be rooted in her own experiences as an African American student, experiences that serve as a resource in her teaching.
This article explores the work of two African American mathematics teachers, Madison Morgan and Floyd Lee, for the purposes of illuminating our collective understanding of the resources and perspectives African American teachers may access in the context of the teaching and learning of mathematics. Through the use of dimensions of students’ mathematics identity development and teachers’ socialization practices as analytic frames, we present an analysis of aspects of the two teachers’ perspectives on teaching mathematics and classroom practices and discuss considerations when approaching conducting research on interactions between African American mathematics teachers and their African American students. We conclude this article with a framework through which we might consider the work of all mathematics teachers as they engage in the work of socializing their students toward (or away from) seeing themselves as competent, capable mathematics learners.
Calls to increase the number of minority teachers in U.S. schools are plentiful, yet the basis for these calls is underspecified and undertheorized. In an effort to better understand the role of race and context in teacher–student interactions, this article considers the African American mathematics teacher as both historical figure and conceptual construct. The authors discuss the importance of examining the role, responsibilities, and work of African American teachers in an academic domain-specific context, namely mathematics. After a brief overview of what the literature reports African American teachers in general bring to their practice, the authors examine and discuss intersections of intertwining historical timelines for the purposes of raising questions about the role and responsibilities of African American mathematics teachers across time. The article concludes with a challenge for researchers to interrogate, challenge, critique, and build on conceptualizations of the African American mathematics teacher as an entity that represents a unique confluence of experiences, perspectives, dispositions, and knowledge domains critical to the education of all students.
In this commentary, we discuss the lessons we learned from case studies of two African American mathematics teachers, thereby endorsing the claim made by the contributors to this special issue that the insights they gained are not restricted to mathematics teaching in nonselective urban schools but can also inform the field more generally. We then focus on differences in the two teachers’ goals for students’ mathematical learning and clarify that they were consequential and constrained the types of purposes that the teachers could convey to their students for engaging in mathematical activity. We go on to argue that high expectations for all students’ learning are not by themselves sufficient for their development of mathematical proficiency and discuss the importance of supporting teachers’ development of specific instructional practices that enable their students to meet those expectations. Finally, we suggest that it is critical to situate the ways in which teachers draw on their cultural resources with respect to the school and district settings in which they work and in which they refine and elaborate their instructional practices.
In mathematics education and beyond, various “cultural” arguments have been used to explain teachers’ resistance to change, yet these meanings of culture are often conflated. This article uses three distinct conceptions of culture—individual, interactional, and collective—to analyze the practice of one experienced mathematics teacher.
We document that caring elementary school teachers spark Hispanic student self-perception of math ability, which in turn increases Hispanic student performance on the California Standards Test for Mathematics. Caring especially impacts math performance among Spanish-dominant English learners, who constitute the fastest growing segment of California’s K–12 student population.
This article investigates the accommodation policies and practices for English language learners on large-scale, standards-based mathematics assessments.
Leading mathematics discussions requires both substantial teaching skill and mathematical knowledge that is usable in teaching. This article focuses on the conceptualization and design of mathematics teacher education that aims to support novices in learning to proficiently enact such teaching practices. Drawing on the elements of Grossman et al.’s (2009) framework for pedagogies of practice in professional education, we describe an approach to analyzing teaching practice that supports the design of teacher education in which novices to learn how to engage in leading a mathematics discussion and simultaneously develop a sense of why the work is done.
Surveys covering mathematical knowledge for teaching and teachers’ professional learning opportunities were administered to 461 middle school mathematics teachers in both 2005 and 2006. Results indicate that that teachers’ mathematical knowledge might have improved during this time period, and improvements may be linked to specific forms of professional learning. However, teacher-learning opportunities appear short and fragmented.
This ethnographic study explores the role that implicit and explicit questions played in encouraging mathematical thinking in a diverse elementary mathematics class taught by a reform-oriented teacher in an urban school.
In the spirit of deepening our understanding of the social conditions of everyday uses of mathematics, the authors studied 20 diverse families with a middle school child by interviewing family members together at home about their occasions of mathematics use.
This article explores the intersection of teacher learning and collegial interactions, reporting findings from a highly collaborative, improvement-oriented high school mathematics department. The author identifies discourse structures important to the representation and exploration of problems of practice.
This research examines the relationship between mathematics and science coursework patterns among high school graduates using data from the 2000 High School Transcript Study.
This inquiry raises questions about the manner in which the No Child Left Behind Act aims to improve mathematics education through continued reliance on standardized testing and mandated use of scientifically based teaching practices. Specifically, it is argued that this approach is tied to assumptions about intellectual ability and achievement that precipitated the dividing practices used to justify differential access to mathematics learning almost a century ago. An examination of so-called objective and scientific approaches to school mathematics suggests the need for more earnest reflection about the particular path toward educational progress privileged by this legislation.
Mathematics enables us to fly to the moon, track our genetic codes, create beautiful music, design our cars, build our houses, and contact others around the world almost instantaneously. However, mathematics, that abstract language which helps us to access the relationships in our physical universe(s), is rarely invoked in the service of preparing young people for democratic participation. Deborah Ball and Hyman Bass take on the challenge of situating the highly revered, somewhat mystical discipline of mathematics as a key contributor to concepts of democracy.
The article describes results of a qualitative study of an elementary school as it enacted a variety of strategies to help students raise scores on a newly required state test designed to serve as an accountability tool.
Observations of the first days of school in eight sixth-grade classrooms identified three different classroom environments.
This study examined the effects of early acceleration of students in mathematics on the development of their attitude and anxiety toward mathematics across junior and senior high school, using data from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY).