Date of Award

2-6-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Psychology and Special Education

First Advisor

Ann Cale Kruger, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Sheryl A. Gowen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lynn C. Hart, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Laura D. Fresrick, Ph.D.

Abstract

Although the reform movement in mathematics education has been very influential within colleges of education and among researchers, it has had less of an effect on mathematics education at the K-12 level (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1999). As a part of the reform movement, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (1991) recommends that teachers engage students in mathematical discourse. Given that situated learning theory suggests that reflection, particularly collective reflection, is necessary for professional development (Borko & Putnam, 1998; Lave & Wenger, 1991), this study examined the use of teacher video clubs as a space in which novice teachers can publicly and collectively reflect on ways to create productive mathematical discourse communities within their elementary classrooms. This study advances prior research by using teacher video clubs as a tool for enhancing mathematical discourse communities among novice teachers who facilitate video club sessions. This mixed-methods study examines (a) video club teacher-to-teacher discourse around teaching mathematics by using qualitative comparative analysis, (b) elementary students’ mathematical discourse in a case study of one video club member’s classroom by diagramming and coding classroom discourse, and (c) teachers’ (video-club group vs. traditional-coaching group) specialized content knowledge and reform beliefs measured by Teachers’ Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics Survey (Ball, Hill, Rowan, & Schilling, 2002) and Elementary Teacher’s Commitment to Mathematical Education Reform (Ross, McDougall, Hogaboam-Gray, & LeSage, 2003) respectively. The main findings are: (a) Teacher-to-teacher discourse focused of pedagogical issues across all video club session, but changes in later video club sessions to include questioning of goals and authority. Analysis of the discourse also reveal three possible affordances of video club participation: noticing, encouragement, and alternative ideas and strategies; (b) Classroom discourse became increasingly more horizontal and students increased initiation of discourse topics; and (c) As a group, video club members’ specialized content knowledge of students and content was found to be marginally significant over the traditional coaching group. No group difference was found in reform beliefs between the two groups. This study shows that video clubs have promising potential as an approach to professional development for the implementation of reform initiatives.

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