Prospective Teachers’ Learning to Provide Instructional Explanations: How Does It Look and What Might It Take?

Dec. 01, 2011

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 441-463. (December 2011).

In this article, the authors trace changes in the explanations offered by a purposeful sample of PSTs before and after a mathematics content/methods course sequence.

The study reveals the limitations in PSTs’ explanations at their entrance to the course sequence.
It also documents PSTs’ progress in providing explanations, thus providing existence proof that this practice is learnable.

Using evidence from multiple sources, the authors also propose a component entailed in this learning—learning how to unpack one’s thinking through the use of representations as explanatory tools—and four factors associated with it, including PSTs’ subject-matter knowledge, active and deliberate reflection on practice, productive images for engaging in this work, and productive dispositions about engaging in this practice.

Updated: Oct. 21, 2012