An examination of designing and planning for the teaching of secondary mathematics methods courses through the lens of mathematics teaching practices : a multiple case study.

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A growing body of research related to mathematics teacher education has been built around preservice teachers. Understanding how mathematics teacher educators (MTEs) who work with preservice teachers make decisions about curriculum and plan for teaching content could aid in developing a picture of MTEs’ practices and benefit new MTEs learning to work with preservice teachers. The purpose of this study was to examine the practices of MTEs and how they design curriculum and plan for teaching content within a secondary mathematics methods course through the lens of the Mathematics Teaching Practices (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 2014). A multiple case study approach allowed for an in-depth examination of six MTEs who served as instructors of secondary mathematics methods courses in teacher preparation programs across the United States. A survey, a Teacher Action Q-Sort (Franz, Wilburne, Polly, & Wagstaff, 2017; Wilburne, Polly, Franz, & Wagstaff, 2018), artifacts including course syllabi and instructional materials, and interviews were utilized to collect data from each of the six cases. Each participant who served as a case in the study was examined as a separate case before a cross-case analysis was conducted to highlight common themes across the cases. Findings from this study indicate that MTEs focus on a variety of different teaching practices and for different reasons. Further, the findings suggest that MTP 2: Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving is perhaps one of the most focused upon Mathematics Teaching Practices (NCTM, 2014) in secondary mathematics methods courses while MTP 6: Build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding is one of the least focused upon practices. Other themes that emerged from the data analysis included the value MTEs place on utilizing the 5 Practices model for orchestrating productive mathematics discussions (Smith, Hughes, Engle, & Stein, 2009; Smith & Stein, 2011) in secondary mathematics methods courses and the notion that MTEs perceive the Mathematics Teaching Practices (NCTM, 2014) to be connected to one another. Based on these findings, the researcher provides implications and recommendations for MTEs who teach secondary mathematics methods courses, teacher preparation program developers, mentors for doctoral students who may teach secondary mathematics methods courses, and leaders of professional organizations related to teaching and learning mathematics. The researcher also recommends areas for future research based upon the findings.

Secondary mathematics methods courses. Mathematics teacher educators. Mathematics teaching practices.