An up-close look at student-centered math teaching

Type Book
Title An up-close look at student-centered math teaching
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Publisher Quincy, MA: Nellie Mae Education Foundation
Today, far too many students see mathematics as a subject
that must be endured, not a source of inspiration or a way
of thinking that can enrich their understanding of the world.
Advocates of student-centered instruction argue that
good teachers have the ability to transform mathematics
classrooms into lively, engaging learning environments in
which students take charge of their own learning and make
meaningful connections to the world around them. Many
of the principles and the practices of student-centered
instruction are informed by research, but there is still a
lot to learn about student-centered teaching, especially in
the context of high school mathematics. This report seeks
to contribute to the research base on student-centered
teaching in mathematics in two ways. First, through an
in-depth case study and qualitative methods, the report
provides a nuanced portrait of student-centered teaching,
which reflects the different ways in which student-centered
teaching occurs in high school mathematics classrooms
and compares the philosophy, instructional environments,
and student perspectives of teachers who implement
student-centered approaches to varying degrees. Second,
the report also uses quantitative methods to examine
differences in engagement and problem-solving ability
among students assigned to teachers who implement
varying degrees of student-centered instruction. Thus, the
results of the study are potentially useful for researchers
and practitioners who are interested in understanding
student-centered teaching practices in high school
mathematics more deeply, as well as the effects of these
practices on students.

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