In April of this year, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics published a book featuring research from professors at many highly acclaimed universities, including two BYU Mathematics Education faculty members. The book, Enhancing Classroom Practice, aimed to make the research behind principles found in an earlier publication (Principles to Action) available to all current and future math teachers, coaches, administrators, and teacher educators.
BYU Mathematics Education faculty Dr. Blake Peterson and Dr. Keith Leatham both coauthored chapters featured in the book. Dr. Peterson and Rina Viramontes, a teacher at Chaparral Middle School in New Mexico, discussed ways for teachers to support students in productive struggles with their article, “Key Questions to Guide Teachers in Supporting Productive Struggle in Learning Mathematics.” This article also illustrated how tasking students to solve challenging problems can produce a sense of accomplishment, knowledge and understanding, high achievement, improved achievement, mastery, and long-term retention.
Dr. Leatham, in conjunction with Ray Barton from Olympus High School in Salt Lake City, focused their chapter on “What (research on) Technology in the Mathematics Classroom Can and Cannot Do.” Here, Dr. Leatham and Mr. Barton discussed the connection between the ways people view mathematics and the ways they use tools to do mathematics. They provided strategies teachers can implement to help students communicate their emerging mathematical ideas and together make sense of mathematical concepts and processes.
In addition to these, eleven other chapters were included in Enhancing Classroom Practice. Together, these chapters give readers “a sense of where the field stands in knowledge and big ideas.” Enhancing Classroom Practice provides readers with the research underpinnings of the principles espoused in the Principles to Action document – principles upon which good mathematics instruction should be built.
Current and future teachers are encouraged to put strategies and tactics from this text into practice, while administrators and other stakeholders are encouraged to understand these principles so they can support teachers in their instruction.
1 Peterson, B. E., & Viramontes, R. (2017). Key Questions to Guide Teachers in Supporting Productive Struggle in Learning Matheamtics. In D. A. Spangler, & J. J. Wanko (Eds.). Enhancing classroom practice with research behind Principles to Actions (pp. 73-87). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
2 Leatham, K. R., & Barton, D. R. (2017). What (research on) technology in the mathematics classroom can and cannot do. In D. A. Spangler, & J. J. Wanko (Eds.). Enhancing classroom practice with research behind Principles to Actions (pp. 129-139). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 3 D. A. Spangler, & J. J. Wanko (Eds.). Enhancing classroom practice with research behind Principles to Actions (pp. vii). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.