Challenges of Critical Colleagueship: Examining and Reflecting on Mathematics Teacher Study Group Interactions

Dec. 10, 2010

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 13, Number 6, 459-471. (December, 2010).

The current paper examines mathematics teacher collegiality.
The article focuses on both the ways in which teachers interacted as critical colleagues in a long-term professional development project and the evolving role of the teacher–educator–researcher as the facilitator of this project.

The professional development collaboration comprised two phases:
one focused on reading classroom discourse literature and one focused on supporting each other through cycles of action research related to mathematics classroom discourse.

The authors use Lord’s (1994) critical colleagueship framework to examine how a study group of middle-grades mathematics teacher–researchers took (or did not take) a more critical stance toward their own teaching practice and that of their colleagues.

The authors found that challenging interactions were related to instances in which the teachers interacted as critical colleagues and were marked by particular features including the use of particular words and the use of personal experience as a form of evidence.

The authors present the ways in which they came to understand what it might look like to scrutinize one’s practice and findings related to the development of this type of collegiality across the two different phases of this project.

The authors end with a section in which the teacher–educator–researcher who facilitated the professional development project reflects on the ways in which the analysis caused her to reconsider the nature of argumentation in mathematics study group settings.

Lord, B. (1994). Teachers' professional development: Critical Colleagueship and the role of professional communities. The future of education: Perspectives on national standards in education, 175-204.

Updated: May. 26, 2011