|Abstract or Summary
- Design in secondary mathematics teacher education must prepare teacher candidates to do the work of ambitious and equitable mathematics teaching with skill by situating development in the work of teaching and incorporating opportunities to investigate and enact teaching. Teacher education designs must also be responsive to the work that mathematics teachers are expected to do in school settings--which are a product of a set of goals, expectations, and communities that have formed over long histories. This dissertation pursues novel and emerging questions around what the design and implementation of a responsive and practice-focused approach to teacher education--what I call a responsive pedagogy of practice--entails, how those entailments are informed by the work of teaching in schools, and how those entailments inform what individuals do in teacher education programs. Three manuscripts collectively illustrate progress on these ideas, drawing upon data and analyses from design-based research in a secondary mathematics teacher education program.
The first manuscript addresses a question of what is meant by and entailed in the design and implementation of a responsive pedagogy of practice. Through an intertwined process of design, implementation, analyses, and revision, three sets of findings informing the development of a theory of responsive pedagogies of practice emerged. First, two needs emerged in addition to the initial attention to developing teacher candidates' instructional skill--aligning with the mathematics of the secondary classroom and developing teacher candidates’ mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT; Ball, Thames, & Phelps, 2008). The negotiation of these multiple needs poses a challenge for teacher educators. This negotiation also gave rise to a second finding involving the development of instructional skill, which needs to focus on the development on multiple levels of pedagogical tools. Further, a set of pedagogical tools must be derived, in part, from the work that teacher candidates do in school settings. Ultimately, this means that responsiveness in teacher education entails preparing teacher candidates to do what is typically done in school settings while also finding the openings at which to press for more ambitious and equitable teaching practice. Finally, a third finding emerged regarding the novel roles for teacher educators and partner teachers that are constructed through a responsive and practice-focused pedagogy of teacher education.
The second manuscript highlights analyses conducted to further investigate the features of the activity of secondary mathematics teaching to which a teacher education design needs to be responsive. Data from teacher candidates' enactments across two settings--the university methods courses and their student teaching placements--were drawn upon to identify the entailments of the activity of secondary mathematics teaching. A modified analytic framework from Leont’ev (1981) and Wertsch, Minick, and Arns (1984) was used to analyze the work of teacher candidates in each setting. While the work in the methods courses emphasized providing students access to mathematics and the orchestration of goal-directed discussions, work in student teaching placements was defined by efficient and productive work on mathematical procedures. Opportunities for more novel instruction were made available contingent on the two expectations being met. These findings have implications for what pedagogical tools should be developed through a responsive pedagogy of practice that enable efficient and procedurally focused mathematics work while also making progress on increasingly ambitious and equitable instruction.
The third manuscript highlights an example of how an emerging sense of responsive and practice-focused approaches to teacher education and the work of teacher candidates in school classrooms inform the design features of a responsive pedagogy of practice. A specific design example is put forth that situates opportunities of enactment in the work of addressing students' mathematics errors in the midst of work with students on mathematics procedures. As such, the example is derived from the work that teacher candidates do in school classrooms and also shows how a design can attend to the multiple needs related to teacher candidate and student development. The example serves as one of many activities in development--all of which are subject to further examination through a design-based research process.