Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Mathematics (MMath)

Department

Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Brynja Kohler

Second Advisor

David Brown

Third Advisor

Kady Schneiter

Abstract

While much is known about effective strategies for teaching mathematics, less is understood about how to lead new teachers to employ research-based practices in their work. To address this issue we followed a Methods of Teaching Secondary and Middle School Mathematics course at Utah State University where collaboration between inservice and pre-service teachers was emphasized. This report documents examples of the implementation of research-based teaching practices by collaborative groups during the course. The structure of collaboration followed a lesson study model involving research and planning, execution and observation, and reflection and revision of lessons. Preservice and in-service teachers met twice a week for eight weeks to participate in collaboration. A review of the literature has shown that while studies have been done looking at combined in-service and pre-service teacher collaboration, few, if any, have been done emphasizing combined collaboration in a lesson study model during preservice teacher education. We categorize our observations into five questions that are both supported by and lacking in current mathematics education research literature. We observed variables impacting the development and execution of mathematical lessons. We found that the benefits included being given time to practice teaching in a real classroom and that pre-service teachers felt this collaborative experience was a good preparation for student teaching. Primary challenges met during this experience were a perceived "lack of freedom" in the classroom was felt by pre-service teachers and a perceived difference in status between university, in-service, and pre-service participants. We also found that collaborative skills used by pre-service teachers carried into their professional interactions once they moved into student teaching.

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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