Research

RESEARCH FINDINGS

This work is addressing the following research questions. Brief responses are provided.

The Making experience has provided opportunities for PMTs to embed their developing knowledge into the design of their tools, influencing not only their experience as a Maker, but also the depth of their mathematical understanding. Moreover, it also elicited distinct facets of content and pedagogical knowledge as well as their integration during authentic teacher learning moments, which supported practices like reasoning mathematically or persisting through the often messy process of teaching and learning mathematics.

The curricular module serves as a transitioning vehicle for PMTs between their teacher education setting and actual classrooms, supporting a diverse and multifaceted array of possibilities for them to draw from in their future teaching. In addition, by enacting pedagogies of care in conjunction with mathematical Making experiences, we offered our PMTs a shift in mindset that celebrated and re-centered marginalized individuals within the mathematical learning and Making communities.

The Making experience has afforded PMTs the opportunity to engage the complexities of navigating mathematical problem-solving tasks through multiple representations of ideas, emerging with deeper understandings of those ideas and a realization of the power of exploratory, tool-mediated mathematical activity on teachers and students alike. Our analysis of the nature of our PMTs’ design activity has revealed the diversity of design decisions, rationales, and mediating design decisions such an experience entails, as well as the importance of viewing learning as a situated process of a teacher becoming.

We’ve been exploring how PMTs learn to teach mathematics through their engagement in a pedagogically informative Making experience, and the roles that their identities played in their design decisions, mathematical activity, and pedagogy. Using a commognitive perspective, we examined our PMTs’ learning by observing changes in their discourse surrounding mathematics, identity, pedagogy, and design. We found that the Making experience was an effective venue for provoking all four of these discourses and that these discourses are actually intertwined. This finding further illustrates that one’s identity is as central to learning to teach mathematics as is their learning of mathematics, pedagogy, and design. More broadly, through the reflective and participatory creative processes associated with the Maker experience and the inquiry-oriented learning environment the teacher educatots cultivated in the course, we found that the class provided the PMTs with an opportunity to remake personal relationships with mathematics and mathematics teaching rooted in exploration and creativity, and imbued with dynamic and deep understandings of mathematical ideas. 

PUBLICATIONS

This work is being disseminated through the following publications and presentations.

  • In addressing the question, “How do learners make sense of and coordinate meanings across multiple representations of mathematical ideas?” we took an enactivist perspective and used tools of semiotics to analyze the ways they navigated the dissonance that arose as they sought to achieve harmony in meanings across multiple representations of ideas.
  • We share that the Making experience elicited distinct facets of content and pedagogical knowledge and their integration during authentic teacher learning moments, and that these supported reform-minded teaching practices in mathematics education. [PDF]
  • We use the lenses of responsive design and representational activity to describe how access to digital design can offer innovative ways of supporting middle-school students as they reason about covarying quantities. [PDF]
  • We explored the problem solving of two learners as they aimed to make sense of fraction division by coordinating meanings across two artifacts, one being a physical manipulative and the other a written expression of the standard algorithm. We took an enactivist perspective and used tools of semiotics to analyze the ways they navigated the dissonance that arose as they sought to achieve harmony in meanings across multiple representations of ideas.
  • This paper reports on research that examines connections between the pedagogical/conceptual knowledge that prospective teachers embed in the designs of original manipulatives and how those designs mediate the pedagogical moves they make in teaching situations.
  • We demonstrate that the Making experience afforded opportunities for enacting a caring pedagogy that elicited PMTs’ funds-of-knowledge, and that this approach provided a transitioning vehicle between the teacher education setting and actual classrooms. [PDF] [Presentation]
  • Guided by the question, “How does enacting a caring pedagogy during a Making-centered experience impact and broaden opportunities for meaningful mathematics learning?” we suggest a pedagogy of caring, sharing, and Making as one way to celebrate and re-center individuals who are often marginalized from meaningful learning in spaces for Making. [PDF] [Presentation]
  • This paper shares findings that convey the diversity of design decisions, rationales, and mediating resources that entailed PMTs’ mathematical Making. [PDF] [Presentation]