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Using lesson study with preservice secondary mathematics teachers: effects on instruction, planning, and efficacy to teach mathematics

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ABSTRACT There is a continuing emphasis in the United States to improve student's mathematical abilities and one approach is to better prepare teachers. This study investigated the effects of using

ABSTRACT There is a continuing emphasis in the United States to improve student's mathematical abilities and one approach is to better prepare teachers. This study investigated the effects of using lesson study with preservice secondary mathematics teachers to improve their proficiency at planning and implementing instruction. The participants were students (preservice teachers) in an undergraduate teacher preparation program at a private university who were enrolled in a mathematics methods course for secondary math teachers. This project used lesson study to engage preservice teachers in collaboratively creating lessons, field testing them, using feedback to revise the lessons, and re-teaching the revised lesson. The preservice teachers worked through multiple cycles of the process in their secondary math methods class receiving feedback from their peers and instructor prior to teaching the lessons in their field experience (practicum). A mixed methods approach was implemented to investigate the preservice teacher's abilities to plan and implement instruction as well as their efficacy for teaching. Data were collected from surveys, video analysis, student reflections, and semi-structured interviews. The findings from this study indicate that lesson study for preservice teachers was an effective means of teacher education. Lesson study positively impacted the preservice teachers' ability to plan and teach mathematical lessons more effectively. The preservice teachers successfully transitioned from teaching in the methods classroom to their field experience classroom during this innovation. Further, the efficacy of the preservice teachers to teach secondary mathematics increased based on this innovation. Further action research cycles of lesson study with preservice teachers are recommended.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Mathematics in a second grade classroom: the effects of cognitively guided problem solving

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The need for improved mathematics education in many of America's schools that serve students from low income households has been extensively documented. This practical action research study, set in a

The need for improved mathematics education in many of America's schools that serve students from low income households has been extensively documented. This practical action research study, set in a suburban Title I school with a primarily Hispanic, non-native English speaking population, is designed to explore the effects of the progression through a set of problem solving solution strategies on the mathematics problem solving abilities of 2nd grade students. Students worked in class with partners to complete a Cognitively Guided Instruction-style (CGI) mathematics word problem using a dictated solution strategy five days a week for twelve weeks, three or four weeks for each of four solution strategies. The phases included acting out the problem using realia, representing the problem using standard mathematics manipulatives, modeling the problem using a schematic representation, and solving the problem using a number sentence. Data were collected using a five question problem solving pre- and post-assessment, video recorded observations, and Daily Answer Recording Slips or Mathematics Problem Solving Journals. Findings showed that this problem solving innovation was effective in increasing the problem solving abilities of all participants in this study, with an average increase of 63% in the number of pre-assessment to post-assessment questions answered correctly. Additionally, students increased the complexity of solutions used to solve problems and decreased the rate of guessing at answers to word problems. Further rounds of research looking into the direct effects of the MKO are suggested as next steps of research.

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  • 2013

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Searching for the Third R: An Exploration of the Mathematics Experiences of African Americans Born in, and Before 1933

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ABSTRACT

The early desire for and the pursuit of literacy are often mentioned in the teeming volumes devoted to African-American history. However, stories, facts, and figures about the acquisition of numeracy

ABSTRACT

The early desire for and the pursuit of literacy are often mentioned in the teeming volumes devoted to African-American history. However, stories, facts, and figures about the acquisition of numeracy by African Americans have not been equally documented.

The focus of this study was to search for the third R, this is the numeracy and mathematics experiences of African Americans who were born in, and before, 1933. The investigation of this generational cadre was pursued in order to develop oral histories and narratives going back to the early 1900s. This study examined formal and informal education and other relevant mathematics-related, lived experiences of unacknowledged and unheralded African Americans, as opposed to the American anomalies of African descent who are most often acknowledged, such as the Benjamin Bannekers, the George Washington Carvers, and other notables.

Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through the use of a survey and interviews. Quantitative results and qualitative findings were blended to present a nuanced perspective of African Americans learning mathematics during a period of Jim Crow, segregation, and discrimination. Their hopes, their fears, their challenges, their aspirations, their successes, and their failures are all tangential to their overall goal of seeking education, including mathematics education, in the early twentieth century. Both formal and informal experiences revealed a picture of life during those times to further enhance the literature regarding the mathematics experiences of African Americans.

Key words: Black students, historical, senior citizens, mathematics education, oral history, narrative, narrative inquiry, socio-cultural theory, Jim Crow

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Learning college algebra by creating student experts

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In any instructional situation, the instructor's goal is to maximize the learning attained by students. Drawing on the adage, 'we learn best what we have taught,' this action research project

In any instructional situation, the instructor's goal is to maximize the learning attained by students. Drawing on the adage, 'we learn best what we have taught,' this action research project was conducted to examine whether students, in fact, learned college algebra material better if they taught it to their peers. The teaching-to-learn process was conducted in the following way. The instructor-researcher met with individual students and taught a college algebra topic to a student who served as the leader of a group of four students. At the next step, the student who originally learned the material from the instructor met with three other students in a small group session and taught the material to them to prepare an in-class presentation. Students in these small group sessions discussed how best to present the material, anticipated questions, and prepared a presentation to be shared with their classmates. The small group then taught the material to classmates during an in-class review session prior to unit examinations. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. Quantitative data consisted of pre- and post-test scores on four college algebra unit examinations. In addition, scores from Likert-scale items on an end-of-semester questionnaire that assessed the effectiveness of the teaching-to-learn process and attitudes toward the process were obtained. Qualitative data consisted of field notes from observations of selected small group sessions and in-class presentations. Additional qualitative data included responses to open-ended questions on the end-of-semester questionnaire and responses to interview items posed to groups of students. Results showed the quantitative data did not support the hypothesis that material, which was taught, was better learned than other material. Nevertheless, qualitative data indicated students were engaged in the material, had a deeper understanding of the material, and were more confident about it as a result of their participation in the teaching-to-learn process. Students also viewed the teaching-to-learn process as being effective and they had positive attitudes toward the teaching-to-learn process. Discussion focused on how engagement, deeper understanding and confidence interacted with one another to increase student learning. Lessons learned, implications for practice, and implications for further action research were also discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2011