A major research concern for teacher education is the impact of university credentialing programs on K-12 teaching and the disjuncture between university-promoted practices and what teachers actually do in their classrooms. In particular, mathematics-credential programs typically promote reform-oriented methods, while mathematics teaching in the US remains largely traditional. Proposed explanations for the limited uptake of university-promoted mathematics-teaching methods have included new teachers’ struggle to bridge the “two worlds” of the university and school, the relative difficulty of reform-oriented teaching, and the failure of the standard teacher-preparation model that teaches general pedagogical concepts prior to specific teaching tools and practices. In this study, interviews of 19 first- through 4th-year secondary-level mathematics teachers—graduates of a single credential program—investigated the factors, internal and external to the credential program, that these teachers perceived to support or impede their implementation of certain university-taught practices. The findings are used to examine previously proposed explanations for limited uptake, and recommendations are made for credential programs and employing schools.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Ball, D. L. (1990). Breaking with experience in learning to teach mathematics: The role of a preservice methods course. For the Learning of Mathematics, 10(2), 10–16.
Berliner, D. C. (1989). Implications of studies of expertise in pedagogy for teacher education and evaluation. In Proceedings of the 1988 educational testing service invitational conference, new directions for teacher assessment (pp. 39–65). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
Berliner, D. C. (1992). The nature of expertise in teaching. In F. K. Oser, A. Dick, & J.-L. Patry (Eds.), Effective and responsible teaching: The new synthesis (pp. 227–248). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Borasi, R., & Fonzi, J. (2002). Foundations: Professional development that supports school mathematics reform (Vol. 3). Arlington: National Science Foundation.
Borko, H., Eisenhart, M., Brown, C. A., Underhill, R. G., Jones, D., & Agard, P. C. (1992). Learning to teach hard mathematics: Do novice teachers and their instructors give up too easily? Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 23(3), 194–222.
Borko, H., & Livingston, C. (1989). Cognition and improvisation: Differences in mathematics instruction by expert and novice teachers. American Educational Research Journal, 26(4), 473–498.
Brown, C. A., & Borko, H. (1992). Becoming a mathematics teacher. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 209–239). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
Clift, R. T., & Brady, P. (2005). Research on methods courses and field experiences. In M. Cochran-Smith & K. M. Zeichner (Eds.), Studying teacher education: The report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education (pp. 309–424). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Cobb, P., Wood, T., & Yackel, E. (1990). Classrooms as learning environments for teachers and researchers. In R. B. Davis, C. A. Maher, & N. Noddings (Eds.), Journal for Research in Mathematics Education: Constructivist views on the teaching and learning of mathematics (Monograph No. 4, pp. 125–146). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Cremin, L. A. (1961). The transformation of the school: Progressivism in American education, 1876–1957. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Ernest, P. (1989). The impact of beliefs on the teaching of mathematics. Retrieved from: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/PErnest/impact.htm on June 24, 2011.
Franke, M. L., Carpenter, T. P., Levi, L., & Fennema, E. (2001). Capturing teachers’ generative change: A follow-up study of professional development in mathematics. American Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 653–689.
Franke, M. L., Fennema, E., & Carpenter, T. (1997). Teachers creating change: Examining evolving beliefs and classroom practice. In E. Fennema & B. S. Nelson (Eds.), Mathematics teachers in transition (pp. 255–282). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Gresalfi, M. S., & Cobb, P. (2011). Negotiating identities for mathematics teaching in the context of professional development. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 42(3), 270–304.
Grossman, P., Compton, C., Igra, D., Ronfeldt, M., Shahan, E., & Williamson, P. (2009). Teaching practice: A cross-professional perspective. Teachers College Record, p. 2055–2100. Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org. ID Number: 15018, May 27, 2011.
Grossman, P. L., Smagorinski, P., & Valencia, S. W. (1999). Appropriating tools for teaching english: A theoretical framework for research on learning to teach. American Journal of Education, 108, 1–29.
Guskey, T. R. (1986). Staff development and the process of teacher change. Educational Researcher, 15(5), 5–12.
Hargreaves, A., & Shirley, D. (2009). The persistence of presentism. Teachers College Record, 111(11) Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org. ID Number: 15438, June 6 2009.
Hatfield, M. M., & Bitter, G. G. (1994). A multimedia approach to the professional development of teachers: A virtual classroom. In D. B. Aichele (Ed.), NCTM 1994 Yearbook: Professional development for teachers of mathematics (pp. 102–115). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Hiebert, J., Morris, A. K., & Glass, B. (2003). Learning to learn to teach: An “experiment” model for teaching and teacher preparation in mathematics. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 6, 201–222.
Hoyles, C. (1992). Mathematics teaching and mathematics teachers: A meta-case study. For the Learning of Mathematics, 12(3), 32–44.
Jacobs, J., Hiebert, J., Givvin, K., Hollingsworth, H., Garnier, H., & Wearne, D. (2006). Does eighth-grade mathematics teaching in the United States align with the NCTM Standards? Results from the TIMSS 1999 video studies. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 37(1), 5–32.
Kazemi, E., Franke, M., & Lampert, M. (2009, July). Developing pedagogies in teacher education to support novice teacher’s ability to enact ambitious instruction. Keynote Address to the 32nd Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, New Zealand. Retrieved October 7, 2011from http://www.merga.net.au/documents/Kazemi.pdf.
Lappan, G., Fitzgerald, W., Phillips, E., Winter, M. J., Lanier, P., Madsen-Nason, A., et al. (1988). The middle grades mathematics project: The challenge: Good mathematics—taught well. Final report to the National Science Foundation for grant no. MDR8318218. East Landing, MI: Michigan State University.
Little, J. W. (1988). Assessing the prospects for teacher leadership. In A. Lieberman (Ed.), Building a professional culture in schools (pp. 78–106). New York: Teachers College Press.
Lloyd, G. M., & Wilson, M. (1998). Supporting innovation: The impact of a teacher’s conceptions of functions on his implementation of a reform curriculum. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 29(3), 248–274.
Lortie, D. C. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
McLaughlin, M., & Talbert, J. (2001). Professional communities and the work of high-school teaching. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Mitchell, L. S. (1950). Our children and our schools. New York: Simon and Schuster.
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). (2010). Transforming teacher education through clinical practice: A national strategy to prepare effective teachers. Retrieved from http://www.ncate.org. on November 18, 2010.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). (1989). Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). (1991). Professional standards for teaching mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.
Philipp, R. A. (2007). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and affect. In F. K. Lester Jr. (Ed.), Second handbook of research of mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 257–315). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Remillard, J. T., & Bryans, M. B. (2004). Teachers’ orientations toward mathematics curriculum materials: Implications for teacher learning. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 35(5), 352–388.
Shulman, L. (1998). Theory, practice, and the education of professionals. The Elementary School Journal, 98(5), 511–526.
Simon, M. A., & Tzur, R. (1999). Explicating the teacher’s perspective from the researchers’ perspectives: Generating accounts of mathematics teachers’ practice. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30(3), 252–264.
Skott, J. (2001). The emerging practices of a novice teacher: The roles of his school mathematics images. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 4, 3–28.
Stein, M. K., & Brown, C. A. (1997). Teacher learning in a social context: Integrating collaborative and institutional processes with the study of teacher change. In E. Fennema & B. S. Nelson (Eds.), Mathematics teachers in transition (pp. 155–191). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Sztajn, P. (2003). Adapting reform ideas in different mathematics classrooms: Beliefs beyond mathematics. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 6, 53–75.
Thompson, A. G. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and conceptions: A synthesis of the research. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 127–146). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
Windschitl, M. (2002). Framing constructivism in practice as the negotiation of dilemmas: An analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural, and political challenges facing teachers. Review of Educational Research, 72(2), 131–175.
I thank Marian Pasternack for her research assistance, and Megan Staples and David Miller for their editorial help. This study was funded by a Teachers for a New Era grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation, and Annenberg Foundation.
About this article
Cite this article
Gainsburg, J. Why new mathematics teachers do or don’t use practices emphasized in their credential program. J Math Teacher Educ 15, 359–379 (2012) doi:10.1007/s10857-012-9208-1
- Mathematics teacher education
- Preservice teacher education
- Impact of teaching
- Credential program