Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education 19:277–295, (2016)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study explores how the teacher and the researcher constructed a relationship as they worked together to implement mathematical modeling tasks to use in the teacher's classroom.
The participants were the first author of the article and an experienced eighth-grade mathematics teachers at a middle school in a medium-sized Midwestern city in the USA.
The authors used the multi-tier design-based research as theoretical framework. In this model, the teacher acts as a researcher (and participant), while the researcher also acts as a teacher/learner ( and researcher).
Data were collected from multiple sources: audio recordings of interviews with the teacher, video recordings of three mathematical modeling lessons, researcher field notes and journal reflections, instructional materials, and students’ written work using the principles for designing activities for teachers.
The authors described the roles and relationships between the teacher and the researcher. The researcher implement mathematical modeling tasks in the teacher's classroom.
The teacher shared her concerns regarding difficulties that students might face. The teacher also suggested strategies that would helped her students solve the modeling problems.
The researcher acknowledged the teacher's expertise and had discussions about addressing the problems in the classroom. Finally, the teacher reflected on students' development.
The teacher and researcher shifted roles during the instructional practice. For example, the researcher led the instruction in the classroom or the teacher analyzed student work.
The authors conclude that the present study emphasizes a teacher’s active involvement in the research-teaching process.
They recommend that teacher educator should consider the concerns the teacher expressed in this study in order to address the difficulties that could possibly occur in other classrooms. The researcher recognized the teacher’s concerns, acknowledged her expertise, and oriented the discussion to consider the value of modeling tasks. The researcher also encouraged the teacher to share her strategies and provided resources that could help her see different perspectives about teacher roles.
The authors argue that researcher–teacher partnerships can enrich classroom learning. Theses partnerships can also provide opportunities for researchers and teachers to develop their analysis of students’ mathematical thinking.