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Supporting Middle School Mathematics Specialists' Work: A Case for Learning and Changing Teachers' Perspectives

Abstract

"In this paper, we highlight one wholeclass discussion that took place in a middle school mathematics Rational Number and Proportional Reasoning course, one of the six mathematics courses teachers take to complete our statewide middle school mathematics specialist program. Statistical measures indicate that teachers made gains in their understanding of concepts and substantial gains in their views of teaching and preparedness. We provide a microanalysis of one of the lessons, to explain, in part, how they might have made this progress. To develop our argument, we coordinate a social analysis with an analysis of the types of specialized mathematical knowledge that teachers might have considered as they engaged in these discussions. As we will illustrate, these types of classroom discussions provided teachers opportunities to consider new visions for mathematics learning and teaching."

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