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Using concept maps to assess change in teachers’ understandings of algebra: a respectful approach


The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ growth in understanding of algebra using concept maps. The study was set in the context of a five-year National Science Foundation funded teacher retention and renewal professional development project. In this project both beginning and experienced teachers are supported as they increase their understanding about mathematics, their ability to implement effective mathematics practices in their classrooms, and their knowledge of working with English Learners. Results indicate that teachers’ algebraic knowledge structures became more complex and connected as a result of their professional development. In addition, they were able to adapt their knowledge networks to incorporate important aspects of algebra into them. Concept maps are recommended to other leaders of mathematics professional development as a means of assessing change.

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This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, grant #ESI-0101995. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein represent those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those held by the sponsoring agencies.

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Correspondence to Sarah Hough.

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Hough, S., O’Rode, N., Terman, N. et al. Using concept maps to assess change in teachers’ understandings of algebra: a respectful approach. J Math Teacher Educ 10, 23–41 (2007).

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  • Assessing change
  • Concept maps
  • Equity
  • Knowledge structures
  • Knowledge packets
  • Lead teachers
  • Multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA)
  • Mathematics
  • Professional development