Abstract Over the past several years, the field of teacher education has faced the perennial problem of identifying productive ways to prepare teachers to meet the realistic work of teaching. As a result, the field is still undergoing several transitions in teacher preparation programs. There has been a shift from an era where teacher educators and researchers focused on detailing the knowledge base teachers needed for teaching toward teaching practices that entail knowledge and enactment (McDonald, Kazemi, & Kavanagh, 2013). Preparing preservice teachers to teach using the concept of "core practices" (Ball & Forzani, 2009) is an attempt to centralize preservice teachers' learning to teach directly the practical work of teaching. Although the concept of core practices for teacher preparation seems promising, not much is known about how preservice teachers learn to enact these practices as they engage in lesson planning and teaching. The purpose of the study was to describe the learning goals that are set by preservice teachers, the learning tasks they design to help students meet the learning goals, and their implementation of Stein et al’s., (2008) five practices of orchestrating whole-class discussion around the learning tasks. The researcher also explored the factors that influence preservice teachers as they learn to enact these practices. A multiple-case design (Yin, 2014) with six preservice teachers was used in this study. The preservice teachers were enrolled in a standards-based elementary mathematics methods class. Data were analyzed using an inductive-deductive method. The results revealed that in designing learning tasks, preservice teachers used their understandings from the mathematics methods class to design low- and high-level cognitive demand tasks that engaged students in using multiple modes of representations in inquiry-based learning settings to support students’ learning. Although preservice teachers setting of learning goals were influenced by their understandings from the mathematics methods class, they were highly influenced by their practicing schools’ mathematics curricula and their cooperating teachers. The preservice teachers had varying experiences and levels of success in implementing the five practices for orchestrating whole-class discussion discussed in Stein et al. (2008).
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2016. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisors: Kathleen Cramer, Lesa Clarkson. 1 computer file (PDF); xv, 283 pages.
An Investigation into Three Core Practices in a Standards-Based Elementary Mathematics Methods Class: The Case of Six Preservice Teachers.
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