MTLT: Developing the Theory of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching by Investigating its Nature, Measurement, and Growth

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The project aims to further develop the practice-based theory of mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT)––the mathematical knowledge needed for the work of effective mathematics teaching. It seeks to extend both the theory and practical uses of MKT through three key strands of research: (1) systematically mapping the terrain of mathematical knowledge for teaching; (2) developing alternative measures of MKT and analyzing the data obtained; and (3) conceptualizing the trajectory of teachers’ acquisition and use of MKT. Results will enable advances in teacher education and professional development, make more precise efforts to study the relations of teachers’ mathematical knowledge to both their instruction and their students’ learning, and develop broader convergence in the field about the nature of content knowledge needed for teaching.

Research Design: 

This project is designed to generate evidence that is descriptive [observational] and associative and/or correlational [interpretive commentary]. Original data is collected from teachers across the professional continuum using observation [personal observation and videography] and survey research [semi-structured or informal interviews]. The project also involves the analysis of existing video archives of teaching.

Three research teams share data sources, utilize similar methods, and when synergistic, engage in joint analyses. Although the foci and analytic lenses used by each team differ, each team engages in the following three main types of work: (1) analyzing records of classroom practice; (2) analyzing and developing measures of MKT; and (3) engaging multidisciplinary experts in the work. Drawing on an interactive model of instruction (Cohen, Raudenbush, & Ball, 2003), to analyze MKT we first articulate the work of teaching and then analyze its mathematical demands (Ball & Bass, 2003; Thames, 2009). To validate our measures, we use cognitive interviews.


Findings will be posted as they become available.

Other Products: 

New assessment techniques for measuring MKT.