## Abstract

How do practicing mathematics teachers continue to develop the knowledge and habits of mind that enable them to teach well and to improve their teaching over time? The question of how (and what) teachers learn lies at the crux of any effort to provide high-quality mathematics teaching for all students. This article reviews 106 articles written between 1985 and 2008 related to the professional learning of practicing teachers of mathematics. We offer a synthesis of this research, guided by Clarke and Hollingsworth’s (Teach Teach Educ 18(8):947–967, 2002) dynamic model of teacher growth. Their model emphasizes the recursive nature of teachers’ learning and suggests that growth in one aspect of teachers’ knowledge and practice may promote subsequent growth in other areas. We report the results in six major areas of teacher learning, identify several crosscutting themes in the literature, and make recommendations for future research aimed at understanding teachers’ professional learning.

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## Notes

- 1.
Findings related to teachers’

*use*of student outcome information were coded elsewhere. For example, we coded student outcomes results as Teachers’ Practice if the results indicated that student outcomes altered teachers’ practice. The “Student Outcome” category includes results that could not be coded in the other categories, for example, student outcome data presented as evidence of program effectiveness.

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## Acknowledgments

This paper is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants DRL-0723340, DRL-0719627, and DRL-0722295. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors thank four anonymous reviewers for their suggestions for strengthening this paper.

## Author information

### Affiliations

### Corresponding author

## Appendix: Articles included in the synthesis database

### Appendix: Articles included in the synthesis database

Allinder, R. M., Bolling, R. M., Oats, R. G., & Gagnon, W. A. (2000). Effects of teacher self-monitoring on implementation of curriculum-based measurement and mathematics computation achievement of students with disabilities. *Remedial and Special Education, 21*(4), 219–226.

Anderson, C. R., & Hoffmeister, A. M. (2007). Knowing and teaching middle school mathematics: A professional development course for in-service teachers. *School Science and Mathematics*, *107*(5), 193–203.

Arbaugh, F. (2003). Study groups as a form of professional development for secondary mathematics teachers. *Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education*, *6*(2), 139–163.

Balfanz, R., Mac Iver, D. J., & Byrnes, V. (2006). The implementation and impact of evidence-based mathematics reforms in high-poverty middle schools: A multi-site, multi-year study. *Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 37*(1), 33–64.

Barrett, J., Jones, G., Mooney, E., Thornton, C., Cady, J., Guinee, P., & Olson, J. (2002). Working with novice teachers: Challenges for professional development. *Mathematics Teacher Education and Development*, *4*, 15–27.

Blanton, M. L., & Kaput, J. J. (2005). Characterizing a classroom practice that promotes algebraic reasoning. *Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 36*(5), 412–446.

Borko, H., Davinroy, K. H., Bliem, C. L., & Cumbo, K. B. (2000). Exploring and supporting teacher change: Two third-grade teachers’ experiences in a mathematics and literacy staff development project. *Elementary School Journal*, *100*(4), 273–306.

Borko, H., Jacobs, J., Eiteljorg, E., & Pittman, M.E. (2008). Video as a tool for fostering productive discussions in mathematics professional development. *Teaching and Teacher Education*, *24*, 417–436.

Borko, H., Mayfield, V., Marion, S., Flexer, R., & Cumbo, K. (1997). Teachers’ developing ideas and practices about mathematics performance assessment: Successes, stumbling blocks, and implications for professional development. *Teaching and Teacher Education, 13*(3), 259–278.

Boyle, B., Lamprianou, I., & Boyle, T. (2005). A longitudinal study of teacher change: What makes professional development effective? Report of the second year of the study. *School Effectiveness And School Improvement*, *16*(1), 1–27.

Bright, G. W., & Prokosch, N. E. (1995). Middle school mathematics teachers learning to teach with calculators and computers, part II: Teacher change. *School Science and Mathematics, 95*, 338–344.

Britt, M. S., Irwin, K. C., & Ritchie, G. (2001). Professional conversations and professional growth. *Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education,*
*4*(1), 29–53.

Brown, C. A., Stein, M. K., & Forman, E. A. (1996). Assisting teachers and students to reform the mathematics classroom. *Educational Studies in Mathematics, 31*(1–2), 63–93.

Carpenter, T. P., Fennema, E., Peterson, P. L., Chiang, C.-P., & Loef, M. (1989). Using knowledge of children’s mathematics thinking in classroom teaching: An experimental study. *American Educational Research Journal, 26*, 499–532.

Chaney-Cullen, T., & Duffy, T. M. (1999). Strategic teaching framework: Multimedia to support teacher change. *Journal of The Learning Sciences*, *8*(1), 1–40.

Chapin, S. (1994). Implementing reform in school mathematics. *Journal of Education*, *176*(1), 67–76.

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Goldsmith, L.T., Doerr, H.M. & Lewis, C.C. Mathematics teachers’ learning: a conceptual framework and synthesis of research.
*J Math Teacher Educ* **17, **5–36 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10857-013-9245-4

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### Keywords

- Professional development
- Mathematics
- Teacher learning
- In-service teachers