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ERIC Number: EJ795178
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Rethinking Professional Development for Elementary Mathematics Teachers
Walker, Erica N.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v34 n3 p113-134 Sum 2007
Researchers have found that despite reformers' best efforts, teachers' mathematics classroom practice remains largely unchanged--in part because teachers hold fast to their own mathematics understandings, attitudes, and experiences. In particular, in the last decade, elementary mathematics teachers have found themselves balancing a number of sometimes competing requirements in their teaching: adhering to mathematics reform initiatives in their school, district, and/or state; meeting the expectations of principals and parents; and finding ways to ensure that their students are able to perform adequately on standardized tests that have significant ramifications for teachers and students if students fail. In recent years, many teacher education programs have begun to address elementary mathematics instruction by helping prospective elementary teachers expand their knowledge of mathematics content. This has often occurred through mandating more mathematics courses; but often these courses have not focused on the special needs of elementary teachers. Further, the support that these teachers receive once they leave teacher education programs is often sporadic and shallow. With the advent of new curricula, professional development for elementary teachers is often heavily focused on implementation of a particular curricular package, which may target organizational or logistical requirements of the curriculum rather than mathematics content or pedagogy aligned with content objectives. In this article, the author discusses a professional development model designed to address these issues as part of a larger study of an intervention, Dynamic Pedagogy, targeting Grade 3 students and their teachers in an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse school district in upstate New York. She also describes how it was reflected in the classroom practice of participating teachers. Because much of the literature in teacher education is silent on the mechanisms by which teacher education and professional development affect actual classroom practice, she also reports how this model influenced one teacher's planning and instruction in mathematics. (Contains 2 tables, 4 figures and 7 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York