Tools, Evidence, and Implications: Weighing Issues of Scale in Describing an Intervention

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Kate Johnson recently published an article titled “Tools, Evidence, and Implications: Weighing Issues of Scale in Describing an Intervention” in the Mathematics Teacher Educator. Kate has answered a few questions about this article below: 

Who were your co-authors on this article?

Mike Steele (Ball State) and Caroline Gneiting (BYU Math Ed graduate student) are my co-authors for this paper.

Who would you say is the target audience for this article?

Mathematics teacher educators–most particularly, people who want to write articles for the journal, Mathematics Teacher Education.

What is the big problem you hoped to address with this article?

This article is an editorial. Editorials are usually meant to support people in writing for the journal or discuss and describe important ideas relevant to the scholarship in the journal or to the readership. In this editorial, we wanted to support people who want to write an article for this journal (Mathematics Teacher Education). We particularly want to help people to understand the different types of manuscripts we publish and how they can think about what type of manuscript they have.

What are some of the key ideas in the article?

We describe the main overarching category of manuscripts in the journal, Mathematics Teacher Educator (MTE). This journal has a somewhat unique mission compared to other common journals in mathematics education. Thus, people need some support understanding what they can focus on if they want to write for MTE. The most common type of article in MTE describes an intervention, tool, or innovation of some kind that is used to teach prospective or practicing teachers. MTE articles are supposed to describe the intervention/tool/innovation AND describe how someone knows it is effective at teaching prospective or practicing teachers AND what someone else might use from the intervention/tool/innovation. When people write for MTE, sometimes they have trouble seeing how to make sure all of these things are aligned at the same scope or timescale. So, if your intervention is a task you used one day in a class, your data about your effectiveness is limited to that scope and your implications are also at that same scale.

What are some of the main ideas you hope your audience will take from this article?

We hope that people will use the key ideas in the article to consider their own interventions/tools/innovations and understand better how to write a manuscript to submit to MTE.

Abstract: Previous MTE editorials have focused on the nature of evidence and how it relates to the claims we make, the nature of our tools, and the nature of the contributions to the shared knowledge base. In this editorial, we draw on these perspectives and MTE articles to discuss how we might think about aligning the tools we wish to share, the evidence related to the tool’s efficacy, and the implications for aspects of mathematics teacher education.