Embracing Reason: Egalitarian Ideals and the Teaching of High School Mathematics

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This book tells a single story, in many voices, about a serious and sustained set of changes in mathematics teaching practice in a high school and how those efforts influenced and were influenced by a local university. It includes the writings and perspectives of high school students, high school teachers, preservice teacher candidates, doctoral students in mathematics education and other fields, mathematics teacher educators, and other education faculty. As a whole, this case study provides an opportunity to reflect on reform visions of mathematics for all students and the challenges inherent in the implementation of these visions in US schools. It challenges us to rethink boundaries between theory and practice and the relative roles of teachers and university faculty in educational endeavors.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface: Mathematics and Egalitarian Ideals

School Mathematics and Egalitarian Ideals: A Focus on Reason(s)


1 Introduction to Our Case Study

Our Goals and Our Own Voices

The Importance of Teacher Development

A School-University PDS Two-Way Relationship

The Structure of this Case Study and Its Included Texts

Part I Changes in Classroom Teaching Practice

2 Assessment

Mathematics Performance Assessment

Alternative Formats and A Taxonomy of Tasks

3 Curriculum and Instructional Models

Starting a Functions-Based Approach to Algebra

Perspectives on Holt Algebra 1 from the Department Chair and a Newer Teacher

4 Planning

Teacher as Course-Level Planner

Must Teachers’ Create Curriculum? For Every Class?

5 Interlude A: On-campus Preservice Assignments

TE 804 Reflection and Inquiry in Teaching Practice II

Preservice Teachers as Curriculum Makers

Should Preservice Teachers be Encouraged to Create Curriculum?

6 Instructional Tasks

Finding Mathematics in the World Around Us

Getting Past Lame Justifications!

7 Classroom Roles

One Teacher’s Transformation in Teaching

What Teachers Think is Important!

Part II Student Experience of the Curriculum

8 Lower Track Classes

From an E to an A with the Help of a Graphing Calculator

How Important are Calculators?

9 Standard Track Classes

Students’ views of mathematical conversation




Managing Students’ Participation in Classroom Conversation

10 Advanced Coursework

Developing an Interest in Mathematics

What is "mathematical power"? Related dilemmas of teaching

11 Interlude B: Observation in Classrooms

Field Experience really was the Best Teacher!

Our Contrasting Preservice Field Experiences

12 Interlude C: Student Teaching/Internship

What Kind of Teacher Will I Be?

How Do We Talk with Other Teachers about Our "Holt" Experiences?

Part III Professional Growth and Development

13 Time and Respect

Being Treated (and Treating Ourselves) as Professionals

Thoughts from Latecomers

14 Restructuring Teacher Work

Shared Teaching Assignments

What Do Shared Teaching Assignments Tell Us about Learning while Teaching?

15 Departmental Culture

One Transformed Teacher’s Viewpoint

Elementary Mathematics can be Complex and Interesting!

16 Changing the Math Curriculum

Teaching a Technologically-Supported Approach to School Algebra

Thoughts on Where to Start

17 Learning from Students and Colleagues

Questioning Ourselves and the Authorities

Should We Ever Tell Mathematical White Lies to Our Students?

18 Interlude D: Learning Math from Coursework Conversation

Lines and points

Comments from Some Former "Students"

19 Participation in Teacher Education

Becoming a Professional Teacher; Being a Mentor Teacher

Being a Mentor Teacher is Hard Work!

20 Graduate Study

Theory is Practical!

The Role of Views of Mathematics in Teaching

Part IV Stepping back: The perspective of a local "outsider"

21 A Quiet Revolution? Reflecting on Mathematics Reform at Holt High School


Cast of Characters


Teacher authors and responders

Teacher responders

Holt student authors

Non-Holt authors


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