Mathematics Teaching and Learning to Teach Project

PI: Deborah Ball     Email: dball@umich.edu

PI: Hyman Bass     Email: hybass@umich.edu      Room: 1600

The Mathematics Teaching and Learning to Teach project investigates the mathematical knowledge, sensibilities, and skills entailed by the work of teaching.

The research team is developing a practice-based theory of mathematical knowledge for teaching. Instead of analyzing curriculum, or specifying what we think teachers should know, we begin by examining and analyzing practice. We study the interplay of mathematics and pedagogy in the teaching of elementary school mathematics. By looking closely at the mathematical and pedagogical work of teaching - for instance, managing discussions, asking questions, interpreting students' thinking - our project's aim is to analyze and articulate ways in which mathematical insight, appreciation, and knowledge might be entailed by practice. Such analysis is needed to extend what we currently know about the mathematical resources required for teaching, the role of such resources in practice, and, by implication, what learning opportunities teachers and prospective teachers need to develop in order to teach mathematics. Other analyses explore the role of talk in mathematics teaching and learning, the nature of mathematical reasoning, and the relational work involved in teaching mathematics. The project draws on two primary data sources: extensive multimedia records of one full year of third grade mathematics teaching and learning, including videos, audiotapes, transcripts, the teacher's daily journal, each student's class work, homework, quizzes, and standardized tests, student interviews. and records of practice drawn from other elementary and middle school classrooms, to extend and supplement the data in the primary third grade records. 

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