This Perspectives on Practice manuscript focuses on an innovation associated with “Engaging Teachers in the Powerful Combination of Mathematical Modeling and Social Justice: The Flint Water Task” from Volume 7, Issue 2 of MTE. The Flint Water Task has shown great promise in achieving the dual goals of exploring mathematical modeling while building awareness of social justice issues. This Perspectives on Practice article focuses on two adaptations of the task—gallery walks and What I Know, What I Wonder, What I Learned (KWL) charts—that we have found to enhance these learning opportunities. We found that the inclusion of a gallery walk supported our students in the development of their mathematical modeling skills by enhancing both the mathematical analyses of the models and the unpacking of assumptions. The KWL chart helps students document their increase in knowledge of the social justice issues surrounding the water crisis. Using the mathematical modeling cycle to explore social justice issues allows instructors to bring humanity into the mathematics classroom.
Dana L. Grosser-Clarkson and Joanna S. Hung
Stephanie Casey, Liza Bondurant, and Andrew Ross
This Perspectives on Practice manuscript focuses on an innovation associated with “Engaging Teachers in the Powerful Combination of Mathematical Modeling and Social Justice: The Flint Water Task” from Volume 7, Issue 2 of MTE. We built on integration of mathematical modeling and social justice issues in mathematics teacher education to similarly integrate statistical investigations with social justice issues.
Kym Fry and Lyn D. English
Grade 4 students engage in problem solving through inquiry in an agricultural science context.
Margaret Rathouz, Nesrin Cengiz-Phillips, and Angela S. Krebs
Issues of equity in mathematics classrooms existed prior to COVID-19. For many students, however, meaningful participation in mathematical discussions became nearly impossible in online settings during the pandemic. In this study, we note the diversity in and nature of participation in mathematical discourse in an online course for preservice teachers (PSTs). We investigate the influence of implementing two support strategies for discussion: (a) establishing a “rough-draft/revision” orientation to mathematical tasks; and (b) providing time and structure (tasks and prompts) in an online discussion board for PSTs to post their initial thoughts, react to peers’ solutions, and collectively revise their ideas. In this article, we highlight several benefits of these support strategies to equitable PST participation in a unit on number theory. For example, as compared with oral discussions where only a few PSTs offered their ideas, the written discussion format encouraged every PST to post their ideas. Using a rough-draft/revision stance in the prompts fostered sharing and revealed diverse mathematical approaches, perspectives, and ideas. We argue that giving students opportunities to interact with one another and the mathematics in a variety of ways promotes equitable participation.
Evthokia Stephanie Saclarides, Brette Garner, Gladys Krause, Claudia Bertolone-Smith, and Jen Munson
Learning to teach mathematics is a complex endeavor, requiring sustained focus and time. Yet time is especially scarce in elementary teacher education programs, where preservice teachers (PSTs) learn all content areas. Through a collaborative self-study, five teacher educators identified three time-related tensions in elementary mathematics methods courses: (a) teaching mathematics content and pedagogy; (b) connecting theory and practice; and (c) promoting social contexts in teaching mathematics. To address these tensions, we offer three design principles and illustrative examples: (a) addressing multiple goals for each course component; (b) developing PSTs’ dispositions over time; and (c) building on PSTs’ strengths to develop understanding of mathematics. We present a reflection tool to assist mathematics teacher educators in designing their courses to maximize their instructional time.
Stephanie Casey and Andrew Ross
There is a lack of teacher education materials that develop equity literacy in content courses for preservice secondary mathematics teachers. In response, we created teacher education curriculum materials for introductory statistics that include an integrated focus on developing equity literacy and critical statistical literacy.
In this article, we provide an overview of our materials’ design along with a detailed look at one activity regarding racial demographics and tracking in high school STEM courses. We present evidence regarding the positive impact of these materials on the teacher candidates’ competency, value, and likelihood of applying their equity literacy and critical statistical literacy. Implications for mathematics teacher educators working to develop equity literacy together with content knowledge are discussed.
Kevin Voogt and Kristen Bieda
This article explores one novice mathematics teacher educator’s initial use of the Mathematical Quality in Planning Protocol, an innovative tool that was developed to assist in providing feedback on the mathematical quality of novice mathematics teachers’ lesson plans. The protocol was devised to help mathematics teacher educators bridge the gap between prospective teachers’ mathematical content knowledge and their mathematical content knowledge for teaching. Results of our analysis on an initial use of the protocol point to its potential as a tool to help mathematics teacher educators direct their feedback from being overly focused on the pedagogical aspects of the lesson (e.g., timing, planned activities) to the mathematical content prospective teachers are attempting to teach (e.g., anticipated student solutions, problem-solving strategies).
Travis Weiland and Lisa L. Poling
The spaces we inhabit and the physical communities in which we learn all affect how we come to experience the world, construct what mathematics is to us, and develop how we teach mathematics. In this theory-to-practice article, we discuss why explicitly considering spatial ways of knowing is important in mathematics teacher education. We begin by providing theoretical arguments for the importance of considering space in mathematics education. We then present a rationale for why considering space is so important in mathematics teacher education, specifically discussing links to the practice of teaching mathematics. Examples of how to consider tasks related to spatial justice are provided to help reimagine what an mathematics teacher education task can look like.
Amber G. Candela and Melissa Boston
In this article we detail a research study using the Instructional Quality Assessment (IQA) Rubrics () as the frame for a professional development with mathematics teachers in grades 3-8. We wanted to create a professional development around a tool that was typically used in research as a way to observe teachers, as a tool to use with teachers on their reflection of instruction. In this study we share both the researchers’ and teachers’ perspectives of affordances and constraints of the professional development and observational rubrics.
Luz A. Maldonado Rodríguez, Naomi Jessup, Marrielle Myers, Nicole Louie, and Theodore Chao
Elementary mathematics teacher education often draws on research-based frameworks that center children as mathematical thinkers, grounding teaching in children’s mathematical strategies and ideas and as a means to attend to equity in mathematics teaching and learning. In this conceptual article, a group of critical mathematics teacher educators of color reflect on the boundaries of Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) as a research-based mathematical instructional framework advancing equity through a sociopolitical perspective of mathematics instruction connected to race, power, and identity. We specifically discuss CGI along the dominant and critical approaches to equity outlined by , ) framework. We present strategies used to extend our work with CGI and call for the field to continue critical conversations of examining mathematical instructional frameworks as we center equity and criticality.