Researching Pedagogy and Practice with Canadian Mathematics Teachers

Edited by:
David A Reid, Universitetet i Agder
Christine Suurtamm, University of Ottawa
Annie Savard, McGill University
Elaine Simmt, University of Alberta
Dominic Manuel, University of Alberta
Lisa Lunney Borden, St. Francis Xavier University
Richard Barwell, University of Ottawa

A volume in the series: Research in Mathematics Education. Editor(s): Denisse R Thompson, University of South Florida. Mary Ann Huntley, Cornell University. Christine Suurtamm, University of Ottawa.

Published 2020

The past two decades have seen an increased interest in education, especially in core areas such as mathematics, language and science. This is in part a consequence of the increase in the number of international comparisons of educational outcomes, such as PISA and TIMSS. Much research has focused on the contributions that curricula, financial resources, parental support, and so on, might have on educational outcomes. A factor that seems likely to have a very significant effect on student achievement, teachers’ practices and beliefs, has received little attention.

This book reports results from a research program that sought to develop and employ research methods to compare teachers’ practices and beliefs across Canada. It provides insight into the challenge of such research, and describes teachers’ contexts, beliefs and practices, and how they differ, in four regions and across two languages.

Using a multivocal ethnography approach (Tobin, 1999) teachers were involved in the preparation and discussion of videos of their own teaching and that of others. This approach resulted in not only insights into the teachers’ pedagogies and practices, but also opportunities for the teachers to reflect on their own teaching in new ways, and for researchers to reflect on research practices and orientations.

The work is innovative in several ways. In a field crowded with research on teachers’ practices, beliefs and knowledge this research helps to unearth the implicit values that underlie the way teachers see teaching itself. Through the process of observation of each other’s practice, the teachers became aware of their own pedagogies, giving them new insights into their values and practices. Researchers also engaged in a parallel process of reflection on their own practices as observers of teachers, with similar insights into the values guiding their work.

This book will be of interest to government policy makers, teachers and teacher educators, as well as researchers in Mathematics Education. Members of the AERA SIG in Research in Mathematics Education, the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group, the NCTM, and provincial Mathematics teacher associations are potential readers.

Praise for Researching Pedagogy and Practice with Canadian Mathematics Teachers:

What a treasure! This book is an important resource for anyone interested in high quality mathematics teaching. It fills a gap in our understanding of how mathematics is taught across Canada, where students are among the highest performing on international mathematics assessments. The studies reported are conceptually grounded, methodologically rigorous, and filled with nuanced observations of the similarity and variation in classroom teaching across many of the Canadian provinces.
Edward A. Silver
Senior Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies
William A. Brownell Collegiate Professor of Education
& Professor of Mathematics University of Michigan

Acknowledgments. Preface, David A. Reid. Observing Teachers: Comparing Middle School Teachers’ Pedagogies in Four Regions of Canada, David A. Reid. PART I: Introduction to Part I. Pedagogy as Engagement, Elaine Simmt. Nested Noticing: Valuing Voice, Christine Suurtamm and Brenna Quigley. Observing Teachers with Different Lenses: Where to Situate Them? Annie Savard, Dominic Manuel, Sophie Pinard, Scosha Merovitz, and Vandana Chandrasekhar. Discussing Fractions: Teacher Conversations about their Teaching Practices, Sophie Pinard, Dominic Manuel, and Annie Savard. PART II: Introduction to Part II: Seeking Similarities in Pedagogy. “I Do That Too” Teachers’ Constructions of Shared Mathematics Pedagogy, Richard Barwell and Lisa Lunney Borden. Similarities and Differences in Pedagogy: A Thematic Analysis, Lisa Lunney Borden and Ellen Carter. Seeking Patterns in Pedagogy: A Topical Analysis, David A. Reid. Postscript to Part II: A Commentary on Our Analyses. PART III: Introduction to Part III: Reflecting on Observing Teachers. Listening to the Teachers’ Perspectives: Dialogue on Research Participation and Growth, Terry Wan Jung Lin, Annie Savard, Claudia Anzovino, Kathryn Sides Blanchard, and Dominic Manuel. Researching Mathematics Pedagogy, Richard Barwell, Lisa Lunney Borden, Dominic Manuel, David A. Reid, Annie Savard, Elaine Simmt, and Christine Suurtamm. Observing the Observers: Reflections on Our Research, David A. Reid. Editor and Author Biographies.