Understanding and Preparing for Ambitious Elementary Mathematics Instruction

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0001-6154-3621
Berlin, Rebekah, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Cohen, Julie, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia

The goal of this dissertation is to surface issues of conceptualization and measurement in mathematics education and mathematics teacher education. Paper one, “Toward a Systems Lens in Elementary Mathematics Teacher Preparation,” uses Cultural Historical Activity Theory to inform a more holistic conception of elementary teacher education than is commonly used in large scale studies of mathematics teacher preparation. Multivariate path analysis indicates there is significant variability in candidates’ perceptions of their experiences and that these perceptions moderate the relationship between their learning experiences and their mathematical knowledge and beliefs at the end of their teacher preparation program. Paper two, “Understanding Instructional Quality Through a Relational Lens,” is a qualitative analysis of three mathematics lessons. Discussion highlights the affordances and constraints of using the content-agnostic CLASS to examine instructional quality in mathematics lessons. The third paper, “The Convergence of Emotionally Supportive Learning Environments and College and Career Ready Mathematical Engagement in Upper Elementary Classrooms” leverages data from mathematics-specific and content-generic observation rubrics to explore the convergence of classroom environments that support College and Career Ready (CCR) mathematics learning and classroom environments that support social and emotional learning. Two findings emerge from this multilevel latent profile analysis: 1) In this sample, there was never evidence of consistent CCR-aligned mathematical engagement absent an engaging, emotionally supportive learning environment and 2) in the lessons observed in this study, students in different classrooms had substantively different opportunities to develop social, emotional, and mathematical competencies.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
teacher preparation, elementary mathematics
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