After getting over the hurdle of implementing cooperative learning, one teacher's action research revealed that her students were more engaged and more willing to tackle difficult problems.
Amy L. Nebesniak and Ruth M. Heaton
Wendy M. Smith and Ruth M. Heaton
Teachers who continually engage in cycles of research may be characterized as having a stance of inquiry: They continually reflect on their past teaching, ask themselves questions to problematize their current practices, and collect and analyze data to inform future teaching practices. We guided 154 mathematics teachers, distributed across 6 cohorts, in conducting classroom research projects. Our purposes and expectations as teacher educators have become more clearly defined and articulated based on our reflections on 6 iterations of teacher research. Repeatedly, we have adjusted how we facilitated the design and implementation of the projects to improve the quality of teachers' research. Over time, we have come to understand teacher research as a way of helping teachers develop a stance of inquiry toward mathematical content, students' mathematical understandings, and productive mathematical teaching practices rather than as merely a culminating project for a master's degree.
Mary Alice Carlson, Ruth Heaton and Molly Williams
In recent years, teacher noticing of children's mathematical thinking has emerged as an important and generative construct in mathematics education (Sherin, Jacobs, & Philipp, 2011). Less is known about ways instructional leaders notice teachers' learning. Between 2011 and 2015, we facilitated professional development (PD) in which coaches, principals, and teachers studied mathematics teaching and learning together. Our initial focus on teacher decision-making was inadequate in meeting instructional leaders' learning needs. We adapted the PD to focus instructional leaders' attention on the work of learning teaching. Analysis of leaders' discourse revealed shifts from noticing teacher characteristics to noticing dilemmas and decision-making within teaching and coaching. Findings suggest new roles for teacher educators and new forms of PD for instructional leaders.