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Using Student Work to Support Professional Development in Elementary Mathematics

author: Elham Kazemi, Megan Loef Franke
description: "It is commonly argued that teachers need ongoing engagement with ideas about student reasoning, pedagogy, and subject matter if they are to make sense of the complex demands of current reforms in mathematics education. Drawing on similar arguments about the potential benefits of using student work to organize professional development, this study charts the development of one teacher workgroup over a year. The analysis addresses two questions: (a) How did teachers' talk about student work develop? and (b) What kinds of mathematical and pedagogical issues were raised as a result of their ongoing and changing talk? The study locates teacher learning in their interactions with one another in the workgroup. In monthly cross-grade meetings teachers brought and discussed student work that was generated by a similar mathematical problem posed to students in each of their classrooms. We document the teachers' efforts to detail their students' reasoning and discuss how their engagement with mathematical and pedagogical concerns created opportunities for teacher learning. We discuss the implications of this work for organizing teachers' collective deliberations about student reasoning and pedagogy."
URL link:
published in: Center for the Study of Teaching Policy: Working Paper
published: April 2003
posted to site: 09/19/2003