Alan Schoenfeld, Professor

Closed (1) Powerful Mathematics Teaching and Learning

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2018.

In broadest terms, our project explores the question, “What kinds of mathematics classroom practices produce powerful mathematical thinking?” For the 2017-2018 academic year we have three projects, which are led by graduate student researchers. Projects A and B will continue, but with URAP students who are already working on those projects. We are looking for a new URAP student to work on Project C.

Project A explores the question, “How can coaches and teachers work together in ways that support teachers to teach mathematics equitably?” Among the questions we are grappling with are, “How are teachers making sense of students as thinkers and as individuals, of what equitable teaching is, and what mathematics is?” ”What does learning look like in coach-teacher conversations?” ”What coaching practices support learning and how do these practices unfold in interaction with different teachers?”

Project B explores student-to-student collaborations in a college level mathematics course. Instead of lecturing, as is typical, the instructor is devoting a large percentage of class time to having small groups work collaboratively on mathematics problems. Among the questions being investigated are, “What can students learn in small group collaborations?” “How do group interactions shape the development of individuals’ mathematical identities?” “What are the advantages, and challenges, of this kind of classroom interaction?”

Project C explores a design based approach to supporting first year elementary school teachers to carry forward their commitments to equity into classroom practice. In this project we investigate the learning opportunities available in a community of beginning teachers formed around shared commitments to equitable math teaching. Some of the questions we are grappling with are, "What resources do teachers make use of from learning community discussions?", "How do they leverage these resources towards more equitable classroom practice?", and "How can participation in a learning community support beginning teachers to navigate moments of conflict between their own vision and their school and district contexts?"


We are looking for help in transcribing and analyzing video data of classroom teaching, small group interactions, teacher meetings, and coach-teacher interactions. URAP students will engage in ongoing analytic conversations with the project leaders as they work together to make sense of the data. They are more than welcome to join research group meetings (Tuesdays 1-3 PM) to get a broad sense of the research enterprise.

Continuing URAP students should indicate their wish to continue on either project A or B. New URAP applicants should indicate their interest in Project C.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Current Graduate Students

Qualifications: Obviously, an affinity for mathematics and an interest in teaching are a plus!

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site:

Related website: http://http://map.mathshell.org/materials/index.php
Related website: http://edcollaboration.org/TRU-LS/trutools.html