1st Edition

Teacher Learning of Ambitious and Equitable Mathematics Instruction A Sociocultural Approach

By Ilana Horn, Brette Garner Copyright 2022
    274 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on sociocultural learning theory, this book offers a groundbreaking theory of secondary mathematics teacher learning in schools, focusing on the transformation of instruction as a conceptual change project to achieve ambitious and equitable mathematics teaching.

    Despite decades of research showing the importance of ambitious and equitable teaching, few inroads have been made in most U.S. classrooms, and teacher learning in general remains undertheorized in most educational research. Illustrating their theory through closely documented case studies of secondary mathematics teachers’ learning and instructional practices, authors Horn and Garner explore the key conceptual issues teachers are required to work through in order to more fully realize ambitious and equitable teaching in their classrooms. By theorizing teacher learning from a sociocultural perspective and focusing on instructional practice, the authors make a unique contribution to the field of teacher learning.

    This book offers researchers, scholars, and teacher educators new theoretical and methodological tools for the elusive phenomenon of teacher learning, and provides instructional leaders and coaches with practical examples of how teachers shift their thinking and practice.

    Part 1: Theorizing Mathematics Teachers’ Learning

    1: The Conditions for Teacher Learning and Nature of Teacher Knowledge

    2: How Concepts Change as Teachers Learn Ambitious and Equitable Mathematics Instruction
    With Grace A. Chen

    3: Mechanisms for Teachers’ Concept Development

    Part 2: Studying Mathematics Teachers’ Learning

    4: Designing to Support Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Change  

    5: Putting Formative Feedback into Practice
    With Patricia Buenrostro and Samantha Marshall

    6: Learning to Inquire into Teaching 
    With Grace A. Chen and Katherine Schneeberger McGugan

    7: Learning About Teaching through Moments of Insight
    With Patricia Buenrostro and Samantha Marshall

    8: Learning about Teaching Over Time 
    With Nadav Ehrenfeld and Elizabeth Metts

    9: Learning about Teacher Learning


    Ilana Horn is Professor of Mathematics Education at Vanderbilt University Peabody College, USA, where she heads the Teacher Learning Lab.

    Brette Garner is Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, USA.

    "This book makes significant inroads into insufficiently trodden areas of teacher education. It is one of the first to offer solid foundations for a comprehensive theory of the complex art of teaching, firmly grounded in the sociocultural view of human learning. Its other innovative contribution comes in the form of empirical study guided by the proposed conceptual framework and focusing on the relatively neglected theme of professional development of experienced mathematics teachers. This lucidly written volume, rich in novel insights and firmly grounded in an almost encyclopedic review of relevant literature will be an invaluable addition to the library of all those who, like its authors, care about teaching and believe in life-long learning."

    Anna Sfard, University of Haifa, Israel

    "Exquisitely written, this book curates the best work done on the study of teaching and teacher learning, using it to articulate a compelling theory that locates teacher learning in the actual work that teachers do in the classroom. The theory is grounded in an intervention where the researchers used video formative feedback sessions to promote, observe, and richly account for teacher learning as it was happening. For its attention to secondary mathematics teaching with its complex institutional and disciplinary demands, this book not only fills an important gap but also provides a blueprint that stands a good chance to guide professional development efforts in the next decade."

    Patricio Herbst, University of Michigan, USA

    "This book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to support ambitious mathematics teacher learning. The authors present detailed cases of teachers figuring out how to deal with the ‘baggage of the binary’—the toxic notion that teachers and teaching are either good or bad. Their examples of teachers ‘learning to learn’ will be powerful for mathematics teacher educators and teachers themselves. Equally important, Horn and Garner richly theorize the learning they portray from a situative perspective. They convincingly argue that teaching cannot be reduced to ‘best practices’ and show how professional development can instead support teachers’ own sensemaking, in the specific contexts of their day-to-day work. Moreover, they make explicit the sociocultural processes of conceptual change that are typically left tacit or unexplored in research on teacher learning. This book will be a go-to for scholars looking to build deep explanations of how teachers learn, beyond ‘what works’ to why it works, and when."

    Nicole Louie, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

    "Teacher Learning of Ambitious and Equitable Mathematics Instruction is the book scholars of teacher learning have been waiting to be published. By drawing on insights from sociocultural and ethnomethodological traditions, Horn and Garner offer an examination of teacher learning that illuminates the complexity of teachers’ changing practices across their lifetimes, from teacher education to professional development. Based on this work, we learn how teachers navigate a constantly shifting political landscape, at once highlighting individual and collective agency, as well as the domains imposed by the historical, social, and cultural logics of schooling. For scholars of teacher learning, especially in the context of mathematics instruction, Horn and Garner’s attention to the micro and macro processes of learning offer much needed lenses for examining the multifaceted and contextual features in designing for possibility in teacher learning ecologies."

    Arturo Cortez, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA