Ear to the Ground features voices from several corners of the mathematics education world.
Ways to Help Students Become Powerful Mathematical Thinkers
Alan H. Schoenfeld
People, Place, and Population Predictions
Ken Keech, Betty Routhouska, and Nicole L. Fonger
Two high school algebra teachers and their students focused on examining population trends affected by the creation of a highway though a thriving African American community.
When Active Learning Is Inequitable: Women’s Participation Predicts Gender Inequities in Mathematical Performance
Daniel Reinholz, Estrella Johnson, Christine Andrews-Larson, Amelia Stone-Johnstone, Jessica Smith, Brooke Mullins, Nicholas Fortune, Karen Keene, and Niral Shah
This article investigates the implementation of inquiry-oriented instruction in 20 undergraduate mathematics classrooms. In contrast to conventional wisdom that active learning is good for all students, we found gendered performance differences between women and men in the inquiry classes that were not present in a noninquiry comparison sample. Through a secondary analysis of classroom videos, we linked these performance inequities to differences in women’s participation rates across classes. Thus, we provide empirical evidence that simply implementing active learning is insufficient, and that the nature of inquiry-oriented classrooms is highly consequential for improving gender equity in mathematics.
Deanna Pecaski McLennan
The Relationship Between Teachers' Mathematical Content and Pedagogical Knowledge, Teachers' Perceptions, and Student Achievement
Patricia F. Campbell, Masako Nishio, Toni M. Smith, Lawrence M. Clark, Darcy L. Conant, Amber H. Rust, Jill Neumayer DePiper, Toya Jones Frank, Matthew J. Griffin, and Youyoung Choi
This study of early-career teachers identified a significant relationship between upper-elementary teachers' mathematical content knowledge and their students' mathematics achievement, after controlling for student- and teacher-level characteristics. Findings provide evidence of the relevance of teacher knowledge and perceptions for teacher preparation and professional development programs.
Difference Not Deficit: Reconceptualizing Mathematical Learning Disabilities
Katherine E. Lewis
Mathematical learning disability (MLD) research often conflates low achievement with disabilities and focuses exclusively on deficits of students with MLDs. In this study, the author adopts an alternative approach using a response-to-intervention MLD classification model to identify the resources students draw on rather than the skills they lack. Detailed diagnostic analyses of the sessions revealed that the students understood mathematical representations in atypical ways and that this directly contributed to the persistent difficulties they experienced. Implications for screening and remediation approaches are discussed.
The Impact of Challenging Geometry and Measurement Units on the Achievement of Grade 2 Students
M. Katherine Gavin, Tutita M. Casa, Jill L. Adelson, and Janine M. Firmender
The primary goal of Project M2 was to develop and field–test challenging geometry and measurement units for all K—2 students. This article reports on the achievement results for students in Grade 2 at 12 urban and suburban sites in 4 states using the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) mathematics concepts subtest and an open–response assessment. Hierarchical linear modeling indicated no significant differences between the experimental (n = 193) and comparison group (n = 192) on the ITBS (84% of items focused on number); thus, mathematics concepts were not negatively impacted by this 12–week study of geometry and measurement. Statistically significant differences (p < .001) with a large effect size (d = 0.89) favored the experimental group on the open–response assessment. Thus, the experimental group exhibited a deeper understanding of geometry and measurement concepts as measured by the open–response assessment while still performing as well on a traditional measure covering all mathematics content.