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ERIC Number: EJ993620
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Diary of Change: Shifting Mathematical Philosophies
Edwards, Clayton M.; Townsend, Brian E.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v18 n3 p174-179 Oct 2012
As the sole math teacher in his middle school, the first author has always worked hard to provide quality mathematical experiences for his students. In an era of accountability defined by standardized test scores, he has also closely monitored his students' performance on such tests. After a few years of hoping that scores would improve, he realized that he was a key part of the problem. His teaching methods--lectures focused on students memorizing mathematical rules and working individually to enact these rules in decontextualized problems--were simply not effective. Through the help of various influences, including "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics" (NCTM 2000), he began to change. The classroom environment was modified using the Teaching Principle, learning resources were aided by the Curriculum and Technology Principles, and assessment practices were influenced by the Assessment Principle. His own expectations evolved into helping students understand mathematics deeply. His rather unique situation (providing three consecutive years of mathematics instruction for every student in the school) affords him a one-of-a-kind opportunity to closely monitor the impact of the changes that he makes. Therefore, documenting his changes was critical to ensuring ongoing improvement toward best practices. His reflections describe key aspects of effective mathematics instruction and how his thinking changed from year 1 (2006-2007) to year 3 (2008-2009). They also illustrate how his teaching of sixth-grade surface area and volume changed as his teaching philosophy evolved. (Contains 1 table.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 6; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills