# Beyond Classical Pedagogy: Teaching Elementary School Mathematics

# Beyond Classical Pedagogy: Teaching Elementary School Mathematics

## Synopsis

*Beyond Classical Pedagogy: Teaching Elementary School Mathematics*reports on the current state of knowledge about these new instructional practices, which differ in significant ways from the traditional pedagogy that has permeated mathematics education in the past. This book provides a research-based view of the nature of facilitative teaching in its relatively mature form, along with opposing views and critique of this form of pedagogy.

The focus is on elementary school mathematics classrooms, where the majority of the reform-based efforts have occurred, and on the micro level of teaching (classroom interaction) as a source for revealing the complexity involved in teaching, teachers' learning, and the impact of both on children's learning. The work in elementary mathematics teaching is situated in the larger context of research on teaching.

Research and insights from three disciplinary perspectives are presented: the psychological perspective centers on facilitative teaching as a process of teachers' learning; the mathematical perspective focuses on the nature of the mathematical knowledge teachers need in order to engage in this form of teaching; the sociological perspective attends to the interactive process of meaning construction as teachers and students create intellectual communities in their classrooms.

The multidisciplinary perspectives presented provide the editors with the necessary triangulation to provide confirming evidence and rich detail about the nature of facilitative teaching.

Audiences for this book include scholars in mathematics education and teacher education, teacher educators, staff developers, and classroom teachers. It is also appropriate as a text for graduate courses in mathematics education, teacher education, elementary mathematics teaching methods, and methods of research in mathematics education.

## Excerpt

The emergence of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) *Curriculum and Evaluation Standards* in 1989, and the research that preceded it, have sparked a sea change in thought about the nature and quality of mathematics instruction. In the decade since the publication of the original NCTM *Standards* and the 2000 revised *Standards* many teachers, teacher educators, and researchers have worked to understand what teaching designed specifically to support mathematical sense-making among students would be like. This book reports on the current state of our knowledge about the forms of teaching that have evolved from these efforts.

There is, at this point, a substantial body of research that examines the processes by which teachers make transitions from traditional instruction to instruction that focuses on mathematical sense-making (e. g., Fennema & Nelson, 1997; Schifter, 1996). Yet relatively little is known about the characteristics of such teaching itself. This book aims to fill that gap for mathematics instruction in the elementary grades. It provides descriptions and analyses of the teaching that has evolved in mathematics classrooms of teachers who have been forerunners in this effort. Nationally known scholars and promising young researchers report on the insights they have gained from their investigations into elementary mathematics teaching and, in some cases, their own experience as teachers. The book focuses on teaching in elementary school mathematics classrooms, where the majority of the *Standards*-based efforts have occurred. Such classrooms are a rich and revealing source for understanding the complexity involved in teaching, teachers' learning, and the impact of both on children's learning.

Research and insights from three disciplinary perspectives are presented: (a) the psychological perspective, which focuses on such teaching as a process of teachers learning; (b) the mathematical . . .