Controlled Implementations: Teaching Practice to Practicing Mathematics Teachers

Controlled Implementations: Teaching Practice to Practicing Mathematics Teachers


In this chapter, we use the Framework for Teaching Practice (Grossman, Compton, Igra, Ronfeldt, Shahan, & Williamson, 2009) as a conceptual tool for analyzing the design of professional development. Although initially developed to examine the education of prospective teachers, we contend that this framework is appropriate for analyzing and supporting the design of professional development. The framework consists of three elements: decompositions, representations, and approximations of practice. We use these three elements to examine the literature on professional development and discuss how they are used in several professional development programs, with decompositions often taking the form of frameworks, representations in the form of videos or cases, and representations in the analysis and use of artifacts from practice, such as tasks or student work. We then suggest that an additional element is needed when using the framework in the context of professional development. We called this added element 'controlled implementation of practice.' Based on our own work in professional development, we define this additional element for the framework. We then review how the presence of this element is evident in other professional development programs when teachers are asked to try new ideas in their own classrooms. 


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