This CTP Working Paper charts the evolving conversations and pedagogical learning of one teacher workgroup as it met over the course of a year to discuss student work in elementary mathematics. Chronicled are details of the teachers' efforts to make sense of their students' reasoning in solving base ten system problems. The paper is organized into six sections that reflect the trajectory of the workgroup. The authors reflect upon that trajectory of teachers' talk to make several conjectures about the use of student work and the potential opportunities for learning that examining student work opens up for teachers. One such conjecture is that examining it is a promising way of beginning to work with a diverse group of teachers.
A Working Paper by Elham Kazemi and Megan Loef Franke, April 2003
<p>It is commonly argued that teachers need ongoing engagement with ideas about student reasoning, pedagogy, and subject matter if they are to make sense of the complex demands of current reforms in mathematics education. Drawing on similar arguments about the potential benefits of using student work to organize professional development, this study charts the development of one teacher workgroup over a year. The analysis addresses two questions: (a) How did teachers' talk about student work develop? and (b) What kinds of mathematical and pedagogical issues were raised as a result of their ongoing and changing talk? The study locates teacher learning in their interactions with one another in the workgroup. In monthly cross-grade meetings teachers brought and discussed student work that was generated by a similar mathematical problem posed to students in each of their classrooms. We document the teachers' efforts to detail their students' reasoning and discuss how their engagement with mathematical and pedagogical concerns created opportunities for teacher learning. We discuss the implications of this work for organizing teachers' collective deliberations about student reasoning and pedagogy.</p>