Learning to "See" the Practice of Teaching in an Elementary Mathematics Methods Course

Janine Remillard , Elementary Mathematics Methods
University of Pennsylvania

Janine Remillard_

This website was developed by Janine Remillard as part of the Goldman-Carnegie Quest Project, and can be accessed at the following URL:

Enter Site

(this link was valid on 9/20/06)

Teaching mathematics is a complex, multi-textured activity that involves making practical moves, reflection, and decision making on a variety of levels, most frequently in real time. Math teachers simultaneously manage mathematical ideas, the particular tasks they are embedded in, and students' encounters with them. These layers of complexity often go unrecognized by novice teachers. A central challenge of the preparation of elementary mathematics teachers is to help them look inside teaching and "see" the threads that comprise it, and to support them in beginning to weave their own practice.

My goal in using records of practice with the preservice teachers in my course is to help them begin to "see" the work of mathematics teaching. I was curious about how using records of practices would help beginning teachers see teaching and what the records of practice would enable them to see.

As I describe in this website, I used four dimensions of teaching-task, tools, discourse, norms-to frame and dissect the work of teaching. My students used these dimensions and records of practice to examine the teaching of an experienced teacher, Mary Hurley, and their own.