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Michelle Stephan and Jennifer Smith

To incorporate more classroom discussion, allow students to argue.

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Michelle L. Stephan

Use concepts from finance, specifically, assets and debts, to give students a real-world understanding of integer concepts and operations.

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Michelle L. Stephan

A grocery shopping problem can link the Common Core's standards with a new classroom culture.

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Michelle Stephan and Didem Akyuz

This article presents the results of a 7th-grade classroom teaching experiment that supported students' understanding of integer addition and subtraction. The experiment was conducted to test and revise a hypothetical learning trajectory so as to propose a potential instructional theory for integer addition and subtraction. The instructional sequence, which was based on a financial context, was designed using the Realistic Mathematics Education theory. Additionally, an empty, vertical number line (VNL) is posited as a potentially viable model to support students' organizing their addition and subtraction strategies. Particular emphasis is placed on the mathematical practices that were established in this setting. These practices indicate that students can successfully draw on their experiences with assets, debts, and net worths to create meaning for integer addition and subtraction.

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Lisa A. Dieker, Michelle Stephan and Jennifer Smith

A conceptual framework can show a general education and a special education teacher how to team teach so that a range of students can learn together in today's classroom.

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Michelle L. Stephan, George E. McManus, Ashley L. Dickey and Maxwell S. Arb

The process of developing definitions is underemphasized in most mathematics instruction. Investing time in constructing meaning is well worth the return in terms of the knowledge it imparts.

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Richard Lesh, Kathryn B. Chval, Karen Hollebrands, Clifford Konold, Michelle Stephan, Erica N. Walker and Jeffrey J. Wanko

For roughly 35 years, the NCTM Research Presession has been held 1 or 2 days prior to the NCTM Annual Conference—hence the word presession. Beginning with the 2014 meeting in New Orleans, the NCTM Research Presession will be rebranded as the NCTM Research Conference. This change of name is intended to emphasize the critical role that research should play in our efforts to improve mathematics education. The NCTM Research Committee thought this an appropriate occasion to invite Richard Lesh, who was instrumental in the founding of the Research Presession, to join the members of the current Research Committee in reflecting on its formation, the hopes he and other kindred spirits had in mind when they started it, and the current state and future of research in our field.

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Julia Aguirre, Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis, Marta Civil, Trena Wilkerson, Michelle Stephan, Stephen Pape and Douglas H. Clements

In 2005, the NCTM Research Committee devoted its commentary to exploring how mathematics education research might contribute to a better understanding of equity in school mathematics education (Gutstein et al., 2005). In that commentary, the concept of equity included both conditions and outcomes of learning. Although multiple definitions of equity exist, the authors of that commentary expressed it this way: “The main issue for us is how mathematics education research can contribute to understanding the causes and effects of inequity, as well as the strategies that effectively reduce undesirable inequities of experience and achievement in mathematics education” (p. 94). That research commentary brought to the foreground important questions one might ask about equity in school mathematics and some of the complexities associated with doing that work. It also addressed how mathematics education researchers (MERs) could bring a “critical equity lens” (p. 95, hereafter referred to as an “equity lens”) to the research they do. Fast forward 10 years to now: Where is the mathematics education researcher (MER) community in terms of including an equity lens in mathematics education research? Gutiérrez (2010/2013) argued that a sociopolitical turn in mathematics education enables us to ask and answer harder, more complex questions that include issues of identity, agency, power, and sociocultural and political contexts of mathematics, learning, and teaching. A sociopolitical approach allows us to see the historical legacy of mathematics as a tool of oppression as well as a product of our humanity.

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Michelle L. Stephan, Kathryn B. Chval, Jeffrey J. Wanko, Marta Civil, Michael C. Fish, Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, Clifford Konold and Trena L. Wilkerson

Mathematics education researchers seek answers to important questions that will ultimately result in the enhancement of mathematics teaching, learning, curriculum, and assessment, working toward “ensuring that all students attain mathematics proficiency and increasing the numbers of students from all racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic groups who attain the highest levels of mathematics achievement” (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 2014, p. 61). Although mathematics education is a relatively young field, researchers have made significant progress in advancing the discipline. As Ellerton (2014) explained in her JRME editorial, our field is like a growing tree, stable and strong in its roots yet becoming more vast and diverse because of a number of factors. Such growth begs these questions: Is our research solving significant problems? How do we create a system and infrastructure that will provide an opportunity to accumulate professional knowledge that is storable and shareable as we work together to address significant problems (Hiebert, Gallimore, & Stigler, 2002)? How do we “facilitate research and development that is coordinated, integrated, and accumulated” (Lesh et al., 2014, p. 167)?

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Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, Nathalie Sinclair, Kathryn B. Chval, Douglas H. Clements, Marta Civil, Stephen J. Pape, Michelle Stephan, Jeffrey J. Wanko and Trena L. Wilkerson

In this commentary, we identify key influences on mathematics education that are largely outside the domain of the academic world in which most mathematics education researchers live. The groups that we identify–including the media, companies and foundations, and other academic domains–affect the public's perception of mathematics and mathematics education. Identifying this set of influences in particular is important because these groups often shape policymakers' viewpoints and decisions, but there is not always agreement between mathematics education researchers and these groups about the ways in which mathematics and mathematics education are framed. Whenever a conflict is brought to the foreground, it can be difficult to raise issues without appearing defensive or sounding querulous. It is helpful, then, to bring to bear a theory that can help us interpret this reality (Mewborn, 2005); theories can provide a way to encode, read, and examine a problem as well as offer insights into the design of new practices (Silver & Herbst, 2007). In this case, we use positioning theory to examine potential conflicts between mathematics education researchers and other groups because it offers interesting interpretive insights into the phenomenon and because it can lead to potential strategies for working toward different positionings for mathematics education researchers. We begin by explaining relevant ideas from positioning theory, including storylines, positions, and communication actions. We then use these ideas to highlight current storylines underlying communication by the abovementioned groups about mathematics and mathematics education and trace some of their historical and contextual roots. We argue that mathematics education researchers can intervene to shift these storylines and positionings and to have greater impact on policy, practice, and public perception in the future. Finally, we end by offering specific suggestions for beginning this work.