Preparation of Algebra Teachers

Session presented at the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference in Holland, MI.

We presented preliminary findings from the Preparing to Teach Algebra (PTA) project in the following areas:

  • Overview of Findings from PTA national survey
  • Opportunities to learn (OTL) about Equity and Algebra to support teaching and learning
  • CCSSM and Algebra to support teaching and learning

Download slides here

Overview of Findings

  • Significant variation in preparation programs
  • Extensive coursework for OTL algebra in advanced mathematics courses
  • OTL equity issues in algebra are generally not provided
  • OTL about (or to teach) the algebra, functions & modeling strands in CCSSM are less likely
  • Many programs have made changes to address some aspects of CCSSM

Equity and Algebra

  • Readings and discussions: Some instructors used articles to generate awareness and promote discussions about equity.
  • Secondary Mathematics Methods: Each one of the 4 universities incorporated at some extent equity aspects in (at least one of)  their Methods courses.
  • Conceptual and cognitive aspects: Instructors addressed issues such as conceptual understanding and how to make it more accessible to students and high cognitive demand tasks (not necessarily high difficulty) as a means of providing diverse options to solve problems.

CCSSM and Algebra

  • Content and Practice standards: Understanding how these two pieces of CCSSM interact
  • Using/Dissecting CCSSM: Working to unpack the standards in order to understand and implement
  • Connecting CCSSM and Teaching:  Personalizing the standards document as applicable to practice

Discussion

Throughout the session, we asked teachers to reflect on their own experiences and experiences in their teaching programs.

Acknowledgements:

This study comes from the Preparing to Teach Algebra project, a collaborative project between groups at Michigan State (PI: Sharon Senk) and Purdue (co-PIs: Yukiko Maeda and Jill Newton) Universities. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation grant DRL-1109256.

Stehr, E.M., Craig, J., & Medel, L. (2014, August) Preparation of Algebra Teachers. Paper presented at the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference, Holland, MI.

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