We report a novel survey that narrows the gap between information about teachers' knowledge of fraction arithmetic provided, on the one hand, by measures practical to administer at scale and, on the other, by close analysis of moment-to-moment cognition. In particular, the survey measured components that would support reasoning directly with measured quantities, not by executing computational algorithms, to solve problems. These components—each of which was grounded in past research—were attention to referent units, partitioning and iterating, appropriateness, and reversibility. A second part of the survey asked about teachers' professional preparation and history. We administered the survey to a national sample of in-service middle-grades mathematics teachers in the United States and received responses from 990 of those teachers. We analyzed responses to items in the first part of the survey using the log-linear diagnostic classification model to estimate each teacher's profile of strengths and weaknesses with respect to the four components of reasoning. We report on the diversity of profiles that we found and on relationships between those profiles and various aspects of teachers' professional preparation and history. Our results provide insight into teachers' knowledge resources for enacting standards-based instruction in fraction arithmetic and an example of new possibilities for mathematics education research afforded by recent advances in psychometric modeling.
Andrew Izsák, CDepartment of Mathematics and Science Education, University of Georgia, 105 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602; Andrew.Izsak@tufts.edu
Erik Jacobson, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University, 201 North Rose Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405; firstname.lastname@example.org
Laine Bradshaw, UEducational Psychology and Instructional Technology Department, University of Georgia, 325 P Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602; email@example.com