Centro para la Educacion de Matemáticas de Latinos/as
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Research on Teacher Education

Background notes

Throughout this document, phrases like the "four of us" may appear. It should be noted that such phrases refer to the four institutions: UA, UNM, UCSC, and UIC. There is no intention of implying only four individuals.

Also, this developing document is to make concrete where we are, how we might think about the research and its process, and what needs to be done. It has emerged after many conversations between and among representatives of the four CEMELA institutions over almost a year or more. This document is what we have negotiated thus far as our common endeavor and objective; however, it is still a work in progress.

Overarching CEMELA-wide Teacher Education research question:

What are the issues and/or challenges teachers face as they adapt or create instruction in mathematics to meet the needs of Latinos, particularly in light of language and culture?

Sub-questions that might be addressed under this umbrella question:

  1. How do teachers understand (or view) the role of language and the cultural resources of Latino students and parents in the learning of mathematics?
  2. How do teachers recognize and use these resources to adapt their mathematics instruction (e.g., lesson design, implementation, revision, curriculum selection) to meet the language and cultural needs of students?
  3. How do school/district policies (i.e. those related to language, accountability, high-stakes assessments) affect teachers' understandings about the role of language and culture in their teaching of mathematics?
  4. How do teachers' understandings and use of the language and cultural resources of Latino students and parents change over time as they are involved in professional development?

Sample methods

  1. Qualitative examination of patterns that emerge in teachers' naturalistic discussions around planning, doing, and thinking about lessons, around studying student thinking as represented in mathematical writings; content analyses of teaching and planning artifacts such as lesson plans, written discussions of student work, the kinds of questions teachers raise, etc.
  2. Long-term recording of teacher discussions in courses, lesson study, study group, and inquiry group contexts.
Data sources

  1. Video- and audio-tapes of teacher meetings in classes, lesson study groups, teacher study groups, and inquiry groups.
  2. Artifacts of teachers' lesson planning, assessment of student work, etc.
  3. Possible more structured data, for example, specific teacher analyses of a given videotape of classrooms from other sites, classroom observations, and/or assessment of hypothetical lesson plans or student work that we ask teachers to comment on with specific prompts.
  4. Student achievement data (e.g., AIMS, district assessments, etc.)