Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 18, (2015), p. 551–575
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The authors examine whether an analysis framework, the Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI), can assist prospective teachers in noticing and interpreting salient aspects of classroom practice, including: teacher mathematical accuracy, solicitation and use of student thinking, remediation of student errors, and level of cognitive demand.
The authors developed a video club to explore changes in prospective teachers’ noticing. They engaged four prospective teachers in a semester-long video club, during which, they watched and evaluated video of their own and one another’s lessons with the goal of improving their ability to notice. All participants were elementary education majors completing their full practicum in the fall semester of their senior year.
The authors used the structured video analysis tasks (biweekly video club meetings) incorporated the Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) (Hill et al. 2008) instrument as an analysis framework and required participants to code video of their own and one another’s teaching using the MQI instrument. The coding was then discussed in a facilitated setting.
To help the authors examine changes in noticing, participants completed a clinical interview before and after the intervention. Each interview required participants to watch video clips and respond to prompts, with the post-implementation interview including questions about the coding/video club experience.
The findings indicate that participation in a video club led prospective teachers to be better able to notice these salient features of mathematics instruction when watching video-taped lessons. Furthermore, participants adopted a more interpretive stance toward the classroom components they noticed and used evidence to support their stance. Prospective teachers’ abilities to notice students’ mathematical thinking improved as a result of structured video analysis.
Additionally, participants reported being more aware of the presence or absence of MQI features in their own instruction, as they each talked about intentionally including these components in their own teaching.
The authors conjecture that several features of the MQI as a framework for analysis contributed to these positive changes in noticing.
First, the protocol focuses on salient features of mathematics instruction, and participants were required to find evidence for the presence or absence of these in the lessons they viewed.
Second, in the training session and the first three coding sessions, there was much discourse about the definitions of codes (e.g., what counts as a student description vs. a student explanation), which likely helped the prospective teachers better understand what they were looking for in lessons.
Third, prospective teachers were asked to justify their codes with evidence from the video and come to a consensus as a group. Following the discussion of their lesson in the video club, each prospective teacher had the chance to reflect and discuss with the group the aspects of MQI present or absent in their lesson.
These findings indicate that MQI shows promise as a framework for analysis in teacher education and a means to help teachers notice and, possibly adopt, higher quality instructional practices aligned with higher student achievement.
The authors believe that work needs to be done to strengthen the student teaching experience in ways that foster noticing and reflecting upon components of high-quality mathematics instruction, such as those reflected by the MQI.
Hill, H. C., Blunk, M., Charalambous, C., Lewis, J., Phelps, G. C., Sleep, L., & Ball, D. L. (2008). Mathematical knowledge for teaching and the mathematical quality of instruction: An exploratory study. Cognition and Instruction,26, 430–511.