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Professional Development in a Laboratory Setting Examining Evolution in Teachers' Questioning and Participation

Abstract

"This paper reports on an analysis of teachers' participation in the observation and collective examination of a laboratory class in which an experienced elementary teacher taught 30 rising fifth graders all morning every day for two weeks. The study on which the paper is based, called a laboratory class, probed how a group of practicing teachers participated in co-planning, watching, and discussing this mathematics class as an opportunity to engage in collective study of practice. This unusual context offers a site for investigating a particular form of practice-based professional learning. Analysis of teachers' discussion guided by the kinds of questions teachers asked and characteristics of their participation in the collaborative investigation of the practice, indicate a shift in teachers' noticing, from pointing students' errors to unpacking mathematical thinking behind it with more engagement in providing concrete suggestions and mathematical representations that are customized for specific students' misconceptions. Moreover, the analytical framework used in this study, brings forward characteristics for teachers participation in a professional development setting."

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