Developing Teachers' Knowledge of a Transformations-Based Approach to Geometric Similarity

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  • 1 WestEd
  • | 2 University of Colorado, , Boulder
  • | 3 Education Development Center
  • | 4 University of Colorado, , Boulder
  • | 5 University of California, , Los Angeles

U.S. students' poor performance in the domain of geometric transformations is well documented, as are their diffi culties applying transformations to similarity tasks. At the same time, a transformations-based approach to similarity underlies the Common Core State Standards for middle and high school geometry. We argue that engaging teachers in this topic represents an urgent but largely unmet need. The article considers what a transformations-based approach to similarity looks like by contrasting it with a traditional, static approach and by providing classroom examples of students using these different methods. In addition, we highlight existing professional development opportunities for teachers in this area.

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Contributor Notes

Nanette Seago, WestEd, 730 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107; nseago@wested.org

Jennifer Jacobs, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1777 Exposition Drive, 594 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309; jenniferj@davidslane.com

Mark Driscoll, Education Development Center, 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453-8313; mdriscoll@edc.org

Johannah Nikula, Education Development Center, 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453-8313; jnikula@edc.org

Michael Matassa, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1777 Exposition Drive, 594 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309; Michael.Matassa@Colorado.edu

Patrick Callahan, University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Mathematics, MS2334, Los Angeles, CA 90095; pcallahan@math.ucla.edu

(Corresponding author is Seago nseago@wested.org)
(Corresponding author is Jacobs jenniferj@davidslane.com)
(Corresponding author is Driscoll mdriscoll@edc.org)
(Corresponding author is Nikula jnikula@edc.org)
(Corresponding author is Matassa Michael.Matassa@Colorado.edu)
(Corresponding author is Callahan pcallahan@math.ucla.edu)
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