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Aaron Trocki, Christine Taylor, Tina Starling, Paola Sztajn and Daniel Heck

Adapted from literacy instruction for use in mathematics, the think-aloud strategy models mathematical thinking.

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Daniel J. Heck, Eric R. Banilower, Iris R. Weiss and Sharyn L. Rosenberg

Enacting the vision of NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics depends on effective teacher professional development. This 7-year study of 48 projects in the National Science Foundation's Local Systemic Change Through Teacher Enhancement Initiative investigates the relationship between professional development and teachers' attitudes, preparedness, and classroom practices in mathematics. These programs included many features considered to characterize effective professional development: content focus, extensive and sustained duration, and connection to practice and to influences on teachers' practice. Results provide evidence of positive impact on teacher-reported attitudes toward, preparedness for, and practice of Standards-based teaching, despite the fact that many teachers did not participate in professional development to the extent intended. Teachers' perception of their principals' support for Standards-based mathematics instruction was also positively related to these outcomes.

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Lara Dick, Tracy Foote White, Aaron Trocki, Paola Sztajn, Daniel Heck and Kate Herrema

This discourse strategy helps students understand story problems by revealing the task in stages and having learners adjust their predictions.

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Daniel J. Heck, Jill V. Hamm, Jessica A. Dula, Pippa Hoover and Abigail S. Hoffman

Three seventh graders, working as a small group in their math class, had a conversation about adding and subtracting integers. The students discussed the challenges they faced in the assigned task.

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Timothy Boerst, Jere Confrey, Daniel Heck, Eric Knuth, Diana V. Lambdin, Dorothy White, Patricia C. Baltzley and Judith Reed Quander

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is committed to strengthening relations between research and practice and to the development of a coherent knowledge base that is usable in practice. The fifth of NCTM's strategic priorities states, “Bring existing research into the classroom, and identify and encourage research that addresses the needs of classroom practice” (NCTM, 2008). The need to work toward connection and coherence is not unique to the field of mathematics education. Fields such as medicine (e.g., Clancy, 2007), software engineering (e.g., Gorschek, Garre, Larsson, & Wohlin, 2006), and social work (e.g., Hess & Mullen, 1995) routinely attend to these issues. Researchers in many fields strive to find new ways or to engage more effectively through existing means to enhance coherence and connection. In a sense, this is not a goal that can be achieved definitively, but one that requires persistent engagement. In education, the constant flux of variables in the system, such as curriculum, goals for student learning, and school contexts, requires that new connections between research and practice be investigated and that old connections be reexamined. Changes in educational contexts open new territory in need of study and also challenge the coherence of explanations grounded in previous research. In this way, attention of the field to connection and coherence is neither unique to mathematics education nor an effort due solely to inadequacies of research efforts in the past.

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Chris Rasmussen, Daniel J. Heck, James E. Tarr, Eric Knuth, Dorothy Y. White, Diana V. Lambdin, Patricia C. Baltzley, Judith Reed Quander and David Barnes

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Daniel J. Heck, James E. Tarr, Karen F. Hollebrands, Erica N. Walker, Robert Q. Berry III, Patricia C. Baltzley, Chris L. Rasmussen and Karen D. King

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) espouses priorities to foster stronger linkages between mathematics education research and teaching practice. Of the five foundational priorities, one is directly focused on research, indicating NCTM's commitment to “ensure that sound research is integrated into all activities of the Council” (NCTM, n.d.). Another priority specifically references the relationship between research and mathematics teaching; the priority on curriculum, instruction, and assessment states that NCTM pledges to “Provide guidance and resources for developing and implementing mathematics curriculum, instruction, and assessment that are coherent, focused, well-articulated, and consistent with research in the field [emphasis added], and focused on increasing student learning” (NCTM, n.d.).