|Abstract or Summary
- Teacher noticing is a necessary skill in order for teachers to elicit and respond to their
students' mathematical ideas and support the ambitious learning goals of school mathematics. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate what teacher candidates noticed about their teaching as they were provided supports and opportunities to develop skills with ambitious instruction during a mathematics teacher preparation program. Previous research on teacher noticing suggests that teacher candidates are challenged to notice student thinking and how instructional interactions unfold in a classroom. The focus of this study was to examine how teacher candidates' reflections attended to the interactions among the teacher's instruction, students' participation, and mathematical content within the instructional system. The research questions driving this study were: (1) What did teacher candidates most frequently notice when they analyzed their teaching? (2) What were the patterns of teacher candidates' noticing within and across four written reflections? and (3) How were the stances that teacher candidates took as they analyzed their teaching related to other noticing dimensions?
Eleven teacher candidates enrolled in mathematics methods courses participated in the study. During the teacher education coursework, teacher candidates developed skills with ambitious teaching by working on four lessons, called instructional activities (IAs), organized around high leverage teaching practices. These practices provide equitable opportunities for students to engage in authentic tasks of the discipline. During the enactment of these activities with students, teacher candidates' classroom teaching was videotaped. After each enactment, teacher candidates watched the video recording of their classroom teaching and composed a reflection structured by a set of questions. The reflection questions guided them to analyze their use of high leverage teaching practices within the context of the instructional system and reflect on their successes and challenges in teaching ambitiously. Four reflections from each candidate were used as data sources for this study.
Results from analyses of these written reflections reveal that teacher candidates frequently and consistently focused on the topic of the teacher's instruction than other topics across reflections. Teacher candidates more frequently and consistently used evidence in
their reflections. Teacher candidates increased their attention to the interaction of the teacher, student, and content over time from reflections one to three. Also, their attention to the interaction of the teacher, student, and content was more consistent over time from reflections one to three. Similarly, teacher candidates' taking of an interpret stance increased and was more consistent from reflections one to three. In addition, when teacher candidates interpreted teaching, they tended to equally focus on the topics of teacher's instruction and
students' participation. As they interpreted teaching, teacher candidates mostly included
evidence and paid attention to the interaction of the teacher and student and the interaction of the teacher, student, and content.
From syntheses of these results, I found that when teacher candidates analyzed
teaching, they frequently and consistently noticed important moments in their instruction.
They interpreted the teaching with the use of evidence to support their interpretation.
Teacher candidates' noticing of classroom teaching increased the complexity over time. This
was shown in the increasing of their attention to the interaction of the teacher, student, and
content. Even though offer teaching alternative was reported as a stance with a positive
relationship to teacher candidates' interpretation and attention to the interaction of teacher,
student, and content, teacher candidates rarely attended to offering teaching alternative.
These results and findings suggest the use of videotapes of IA enactments as a possible approach to supporting teacher candidates' learning to notice the interactions of instructional features. They also suggest the effectiveness of using prompts to guide teacher candidates to focus on the topic of teacher's instruction, use evidence, pay attention to the interactions instructional features, and interpret teaching. Importantly, they suggest the necessity of prompts guiding teacher candidates to offer teaching alternative.
Additionally, the results and findings suggest the implications for future studies. Longitudinal studies could be conducted in order to explore the change and development of teacher candidates' noticing over time. The qualitative methods could be employed in order to get insights about what and how teacher candidates notice. A subset of teacher candidates in my study could be selected as a focus group to obtain more details about what and how they notice.