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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning and Implementing Reform Practices: The Case of Responsive Teaching
by Glenwerks, Corinne Rose, Ph.D., Tufts University, 2020, 278; 27956479
Abstract (Summary)

Mathematics instruction is most effective when teachers use their understanding of students’ ideas to support and challenge students in meaningful ways (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 2000). Over the past two decades, there have been increased efforts to consider how to help teachers learn and implement reform practices that align with NCTM’s (2000) vision of quality instruction (e.g., Cobb, Jackson, Henrick, & Smith, 2018; Jacobs, Lamb, & Philipp, 2010; Lampert & Grazini, 2009; van Es & Sherin, 2002). This dissertation fits within the broader scope of reform literature in mathematics by considering the practice of responsive teaching. When teachers practice responsive teaching, they first attend: they identify and interpret a student’s mathematical idea. Then, teachers respond based on their interpretation(s) of their students’ idea. This dissertation will primarily focus on the skill of attending to students’ mathematical ideas.

While researchers have documented activities that can support teachers as they learn to practice responsive teaching, less is known about mechanisms that support teachers’ learning (Borko, 2004) and how these challenges may impact teachers’ practices over time (Cobb et al., 2018). This dissertation will address the gap in literature by considering the research question: In what ways does teachers’ attention to students’ mathematical thinking change over time? How are these changes associated with various influences?

Two empirical studies examine this question in different contexts, which were selected to tell the story of what may happen during, immediately after, and three years after receiving instruction in responsive teaching practices. The first study considers how facilitator feedback may influence participants in a professional development program as they learn about responsive teaching. The second study examines my experiences as a first- and then third-year teacher as I made decisions around plans to implement responsive teaching in a high school mathematics course.

Several influences emerged from the data, such as orientations towards teaching, supervisor feedback, and district policies, which may have impacted how teachers learned and planned to implement responsive teaching practices in mathematics. These influences appear to be context-dependent and speak to the importance of ongoing support for teachers as they seek to learn and implement reform practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brizuela, Bárbara
Commitee: Gravel, Brian, Jacobs, Vicki, Teixidor-i-Bigas, Montserrat
School: Tufts University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Teacher education
Keywords: Attending to student thinking, Feedback, Influences, Professional development, Responsive teaching, Teacher orientations
Publication Number: 27956479
ISBN: 9798645496159
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