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Research

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Gainsburg, J. (2012). Why new mathematics teachers do or don’t use practices emphasized in their credential program. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 15(5), 359-79.

Abstract

Abstract A major research concern for teacher education is the impact of university credentialing programs on K-12 teaching and the disjuncture between university-promoted practices and what teachers actually do in their classrooms. In particular, mathematicscredential programs typically promote reform-oriented methods, while mathematics teaching in the US remains largely traditional. Proposed explanations for the limited uptake of university-promoted mathematics-teaching methods have included new teachers’ struggle to bridge the ‘‘two worlds’’ of the university and school, the relative difficulty of reform-oriented teaching, and the failure of the standard teacher-preparation model that teaches general pedagogical concepts prior to specific teaching tools and practices. In this study, interviews of 19 first- through 4th-year secondary-level mathematics teachers— graduates of a single credential program—investigated the factors, internal and external to the credential program, that these teachers perceived to support or impede their implementation of certain university-taught practices. The findings are used to examine previously proposed explanations for limited uptake, and recommendations are made for credential programs and employing schools.

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