ERIC Number: ED392776
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
"He Knows There's Six 100s in 26?" An Investigation into What It Means To "Do Mathematics" in a Teacher Group. NCRTL Craft Paper 95-3.
Smith, Stephen P.; Featherstone, Helen
The focus in this report is the concept of what it means to "do mathematics" in the context of a group working committee of teachers and researchers committed to reforming mathematics teaching. During a regular meeting of this group of teachers and researchers, the participants explored the mathematical reasoning embedded in one fourth-grade student's unusual solution to a routine multiplication problem. The analysis prompted a framework for considering in a teacher's group what it means to do mathematics. It is argued that these participants conducted three types of investigation into the reasoning used by the student: psychological, pedagogical, and propositional. By focusing their exploration within the student's sense-making, the members situated their learning of the practice of mathematics teaching and of the subject matter of mathematics within their own practice of teaching. It is suggested that "doing mathematics" for teachers requires more than just additional college mathematics courses; doing mathematics also requires learning how to make sense of someone's reasoning, however strange it may seem at first glance. This can only be learned by actually "doing mathematics" in a classroom setting and discussing the process with others. (Contains 18 references.) (NAV)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Elementary School Mathematics, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Teachers, Grade 4, Group Discussion, Intermediate Grades, Interpersonal Communication, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Instruction, Multiplication, Teacher Researchers, Thinking Skills
National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, 116 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($8.28).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers; Teachers
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, East Lansing, MI.