Share news about happenings in the field of elementary school mathematics education, views on matters pertaining to teaching and learning mathematics in the early childhood or elementary school years, and reactions to previously published opinion pieces or articles. Find detailed department submission guidelines at http:/www.nctm.org/WriteForTCM.
Kathy Liu Sun
The belief that mathematics ability is a fixed trait is particularly common and may be a key reason for many students' disinterest and underperformance in mathematics. This study investigates how mathematics teaching practices might contribute to students' beliefs about mathematics ability being a fixed or malleable trait (mindset). Through a synthesis of existing literature and an analysis of data from classroom observations, this article presents a framework of teaching practices and identifies how varying implementations of these practices can be classified along a continuum from conveying fixed-mindset messages to conveying growth-mindset messages related to mathematics ability.
Charmaine Mangram and Kathy Liu Sun
The pervasiveness of digital technology creates an imperative for mathematics teacher educators to prepare preservice teachers (PSTs) to select technology to support students’ mathematical development. We report on research conducted on an assignment created for and implemented in secondary mathematics methods courses requiring PSTs to select and evaluate digital mathematics tools. We found that PSTs primarily focused on pedagogical fidelity (ease of use), did not consider mathematical fidelity (accuracy), and at times superficially attended to cognitive fidelity (how well the tool reflects students’ mathematical thinking processes) operationalized as the CCSS for Mathematical Practice and Five Strands of Mathematical Proficiency. We discuss implications for implementing the assignment and suggestions for addressing PSTs’ challenges with identifying the mathematical practices and five strands.