Investigating Teaching in Conceptually Oriented Mathematics Classrooms Characterized by African American Student Success

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  • 1 North Carolina State University
  • 2 Thompson Rivers University
  • 3 University of Washington
  • 4 Southern Methodist University

This article outlines several forms of instructional practice that distinguished middle-grades mathematics classrooms that were organized around conceptually oriented activity and marked by African American students' success on state assessments. We identified these forms of practice based on a comparative analysis of teaching in (a) classrooms in which there was evidence of conceptually oriented instruction and in which African American students performed better than predicted by their previous state assessment scores and (b) classrooms in which there was evidence of conceptually oriented instruction but in which African American students did not perform better than predicted on previous state assessment scores. The resulting forms of practice can inform professional learning for preservice and in-service teachers.

Contributor Notes

Jonee Wilson, North Carolina State University, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, Campus Box 7801, 2310 Stinson Drive, 317 Poe Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695;

Mahtab Nazemi, Thompson Rivers University, School of Education, 900 McGill Road, Tk'emlúps te Secwepemc, V2C 6N6, Canada;

Kara Jackson, University of Washington, Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum, Miller Hall 115E, Box 353600, Seattle, WA 98195;

Anne Garrison Wilhelm, Southern Methodist University, Department of Teaching and Learning, 6401 Airline Rd., Dallas, TX, 75205;

(Corresponding author is Wilson author is Nazemi author is Jackson author is Wilhelm
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education


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