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Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: Middle School Mathematics Teachers' Perceptions

Abstract

"The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2010) have now been adopted by 45 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories as of May 2013 and, as a result, constitute a U.S. national intended curriculum in English Language Arts and Mathematics (Porter, McMaken, Hwang, & Yang, 2010). Although the CCSSM were designed for a number of different audiences, teachers are the key implementers who will translate this document from an intended curriculum into an enacted curriculum, providing students with opportunities to learn many important mathematical ideas. Mathematics teachers are entrusted with the task of interpreting the standards comprising the CCSSM and determining how to best provide opportunities for their students to learn the mathematics articulated in those standards.

Educational leaders provide various types of support for mathematics teachers as they prepare to implement the CCSSM. Indeed, a recent survey conducted by EPE Research Center (2013) found that the most common source of information about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were administrators. As leaders prepare to support teachers in interpreting and enacting the CCSSM, a first step is to understand how teachers perceive these standards. This paper presents the results of a survey administered to a sample of 403 middle school mathematics teachers (MSMT) across the United States. This survey was designed to examine teachers' perceptions and understandings of the CCSSM, teachers' wider beliefs about mathematics, and teachers' planning practices. As part of understanding the context for ongoing efforts to support teachers, survey items also focused on school districts' professional development practices. The implications of these results for educational leaders as they design professional development experiences for teachers to understand and implement the CCSSM will be discussed."

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