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Alison S. Marzocchi, Emily Miller, and Steven Silber

Mathematics & Mathematics Education: Searching for Common Ground seeks to deepen a dialogue about what many believe is a growing concern: that the fields of mathematics and mathematics education are growing apart. This gap between the fields is evidenced by differences in research methodologies, research agendas, and vocabulary. In the opening chapter, Michael Fried states, “The divide between the two communities is wasteful and unhealthy for both” (p. 4), and he expresses his “hope that in the end readers will be left with a clearer sense of the mutual benefit both communities stand to lose by failing to strengthen the natural bonds between them” (p. 4).

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James Hiebert, Dawn Berk, Emily Miller, Heather Gallivan, and Erin Meikle

We investigated whether the mathematics studied in 2 content courses of an elementary teacher preparation program was retained and used by graduates when completing tasks measuring knowledge for teaching mathematics. Using a longitudinal design, we followed 2 cohorts of prospective teachers for 3 to 4 years after graduation. We assessed participants' knowledge by asking them to identify mathematics concepts underlying standard procedures, generate multiple solution strategies, and evaluate students' mathematical work. We administered parallel tasks for 3 mathematics topics studied in the program and one mathematics topic not studied in the program. When significant differences were found, participants always performed better on mathematics topics developed in the program than on the topic not addressed in the program. We discuss implications of these findings for mathematics teacher preparation.

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Sarah Theule Lubienski, Colleen M. Ganley, Martha B. Makowski, Emily K. Miller, and Jennifer D. Timmer

Despite progress toward gender equity, troubling disparities in mathematical problem-solving performance and related outcomes persist. To investigate why, we build on recurrent findings in previous studies to introduce a new construct, “bold problem solving,” which involves approaching mathematics problems in inventive ways. We introduce a self-report survey of bold problem-solving orientation and find that it mediates gender differences in problem-solving performance for both high-achieving middle school students (n = 79) and a more diverse sample of high school students (n = 222). Confidence mediates the relation between gender and bold problem-solving orientation, with mixed results for mental rotation skills and teacher-pleasing tendencies as mediators. Overall, the new bold problem-solving construct appears promising for advancing our understanding of gender differences in mathematics.

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Emily Miller, Martha Makowski, Yasemin Copur-Gencturk, and Sarah Lubienski

Large–Scale Studies in Mathematics Education, edited by James A. Middleton, Jinfa Cai, and Stephen Hwang, presents mathematics education research covering a broad range of topics using a variety of data sources and analysis techniques. By spotlighting this work, the editors hope to encourage the use of large–scale data sets, which they argue are underutilized by mathematics education researchers. Middleton, Cai, and Hwang contend that “large scale studies can be both illuminative—uncovering patterns not yet seen in the literature, and critical—changing how we think about teaching, learning, policy, and practice” (p. 12). With its inclusion of studies using large–scale data sets and expository papers concerning methodological considerations, the book effectively challenges the reader to consider issues of scale. The book has 18 chapters organized into four sections on curriculum, teaching, learning, and methodology. Although the volume is organized by these areas of interest, we suggest that prospective readers peruse chapters in all sections. As the book editors note, the boundaries between sections are far from clear–cut, and readers may find work relevant to their area of interest throughout the book.