This book illustrates the experiences of elementary school teachers across one year's time as they participated in a teacher development seminar focused on mathematics, and as a result changed their beliefs, their knowledge, and their practices. It explores these experiences as a means of understanding the learning that takes a teacher from a more traditional teaching practice to one that is focused on the ideas and understandings that students and teachers have of the subject matter.
The work emerges from and reports on a unique data set from a two-year study of teacher learning that was funded by the Spencer and MacArthur foundations. The teachers, whose work is at the center of this study, were participants in the Developing Mathematical Ideas seminar (DMI), a mathematics teacher development seminar for elementary school teachers. This seminar is one example of intensive, domain-specific professional development. In this seminar teachers study elementary mathematics content to deepen their own understanding of it, they study the development among children of the ideas central to elementary mathematics, and they experience a teaching and learning environment consistent with the pedagogy envisioned by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics' Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. The seminar is a nationally available teacher development curriculum, thus interested educators can gain access to the resources necessary to offer similar seminars in their own communities.
Teachers' Professional Development and the Elementary Mathematics Classroom: Bringing Understandings to Light will be widely interesting to a broad audience, including mathematics teacher educators, teacher education researchers, policymakers, and classroom teachers. It will serve well as a text in a range of graduate courses dealing with teacher cognition/knowledge for teaching, mathematics methods, psychology of learning, and pedagogical theory.