This study sought to understand how aspects of middle school mathematics teachers' knowledge and conceptions are related to their enactment of cognitively demanding tasks. The author found that teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and conceptions of teaching and learning mathematics were contingent on one another and significantly related to teachers' enactment of cognitively demanding tasks.
Dawn M. Woods and Anne Garrison Wilhelm
This study investigates how the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle provides 11 novice mathematics teachers with the opportunity to learn about the high-leverage practice of launching a complex task. Findings suggest that the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle provides novice teachers with opportunities to reflect on how to launch a complex task within the context of their own instructional practice. Because of this opportunity to deeply consider the pedagogical resource and reflect on it, novice teachers’ instructional visions were a filter through which they interpreted key instructional strategies offered up during the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle. Further, the authors discuss three key takeaways for teacher educators who are attempting to implement the teacher learning cycle into their teacher education coursework.
Anne Garrison Wilhelm and Sungyeun Kim
One crucial question for researchers who study teachers' classroom practice is how to maximize information about what is happening in classrooms while minimizing costs. This report extends prior studies of the reliability of the Instructional Quality Assessment (IQA), a widely used classroom observation toolkit, and offers insight into the often asked question: “What is the number of observations required to reliably measure a teacher's instructional practice using the IQA?” We found that in some situations, as few as three observations are needed to reliably measure a teacher's instructional practice using the IQA. However, that result depends on a variety of other factors.
Jonee Wilson, Mahtab Nazemi, Kara Jackson and Anne Garrison Wilhelm
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.