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Characterizing Secondary Teachers’ Structural Reasoning

Stacy Musgrave, Cameron Byerley, Neil Hatfield, Surani Joshua, and Hyunkyoung Yoon

The Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice asks students to look for and make use of structure. Hence, mathematics teacher educators need to prepare teachers to support students’ structural reasoning. In this article, we present tasks and rubrics designed and validated to characterize teachers’ structural reasoning for the purposes of professional development. Initially, tasks were designed and improved using interviews and small pilot studies. Next, we gave written structure tasks to over 600 teachers in two countries and developed and validated rubrics to categorize responses. Our work contributes to the preparation and support of mathematics teachers as they develop their own structural reasoning and their ability to help students develop structural reasoning.

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Exploring Prospective Teachers’ Development of the Cartesian Form of Complex Numbers

Gülseren Karagöz Akar, Merve Saraç, and Mervenur Belin

In this study, we investigated prospective secondary mathematics teachers’ development of a meaning for the Cartesian form of complex numbers by examining the roots of quadratic equations through quantitative reasoning. Data included transcripts of the two sessions of classroom teaching experiments prospective teachers participated in, written artifacts from these teaching sessions, and their answers to pre-and-post written assessment questions. Results point toward prospective teachers’ improved meanings regarding the definition of complex numbers and the algebraic and geometrical meanings of the Cartesian form of complex numbers. Implications for mathematics teacher education include providing specific tasks and strategies for strengthening the knowledge of prospective and in-service teachers.

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Dilemmas and Design Principles in Planning for Justice-Oriented Community-Based Mathematical Modeling Lessons

Jennifer M. Suh, Holly Tate, Maryanne Rossbach, Samara Green, Kathy Matson, Julia Aguirre, Padhu Seshaiyer, and Sam Steen

This article details the development of design principles to support teachers in planning for a Community-Based Mathematical Modeling task with a focus on social justice in the elementary grades. By reflecting on the dilemmas we encountered in the design and enactment of the tasks, we developed five design principles that allowed us to address issues of social justice as well as attend to powerful mathematical ideas to bring awareness and take action around a local problem. Through our article, we hope to share with mathematics teacher educators design principles to help plan for tasks with pre- and in-service teachers that prioritize connecting mathematics to social issues and empower both teachers and students to take action to make a positive impact in the community.