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ERIC Number: ED521406
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 246
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-0334-5
Understanding Ambitious Mathematics Teaching Practice through Instructional Activities
Kelley-Peterson, Megan Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington
Research in the field of math education continues to press teachers guide instruction based on students' needs and contributions, focusing on student learning through facilitation of whole-group discussions. This dissertation presents the findings of a qualitative study of two elementary teachers managing such "ambitious" teaching practices across an academic year within two instructional activities. Framing for this study synthesizes relevant literature to name five features of ambitious instruction that can be enacted within different participation structures as teachers manage interactions between elementary students and content. The instructional activities studied act as containers to exemplify two different participation structures: divergent and convergent discussions. This dissertation aimed to better understand the features and practice of ambitious instruction by studying two elementary teachers' enactments of the instructional activities of "choral counting" and "posing a string of related problems" through a series of videotaped lessons in each classroom, 12 per classroom, across three time points during an academic year. Each teacher was interviewed after each set of videotaped lessons. The findings present that these two instructional activities can be enacted in ambitious ways. Each teacher enacted the instructional activities in various ways, managing the features of ambitious instruction through different foci, which related to students' opportunities to learn mathematics with understanding: Ms. C, a first grade teacher, was goal-directed while Ms. S, a third grade teacher, was representation-centered. Each teacher's case offers something to the field as it is interesting to consider teachers' instructional choices when their intent is to be responsive to and build on their students' contributions. Ms. C's case offers insights into how goals can support a teacher in making instructional choices in the moment to manage discussions and orient students to mathematical ideas and Ms. S's case offers insights into how the use of representations can make students' thinking more public and provide access for students to orient their ideas to each other. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A