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Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

, Volume 19, Issue 2–3, pp 123–148 | Cite as

Reflective analysis as a tool for task redesign: The case of prospective elementary teachers solving and posing fraction comparison problems

  • Eva Thanheiser
  • Dana Olanoff
  • Amy Hillen
  • Ziv Feldman
  • Jennifer M. Tobias
  • Rachael M. Welder
Article

Abstract

Mathematical task design has been a central focus of the mathematics education research community over the last few years. In this study, six university teacher educators from six different US institutions formed a community of practice to explore key aspects of task design (planning, implementing, reflecting, and modifying) in the context of comparing fractions using reasoning and sense-making. By presenting results of their implementation of two tasks with 63 prospective elementary teachers across three institutions and their reflective analysis of the implementation, the authors highlight the importance of collecting and analyzing data and reflecting on this analysis to inform the redesign of tasks. The authors also found that considering different types of tasks (problem solving vs. problem posing) helps illuminate different aspects of prospective elementary teachers' understanding, which can inform task redesign. Finally the authors contribute to the knowledge base on reasoning strategies for comparing fractions and prospective elementary teachers’ knowledge of these strategies.

Keywords

Task design Fraction concepts Mathematical content knowledge Prospective elementary teachers 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Thanheiser
    • 1
  • Dana Olanoff
    • 2
  • Amy Hillen
    • 3
  • Ziv Feldman
    • 4
  • Jennifer M. Tobias
    • 5
  • Rachael M. Welder
    • 6
  1. 1.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Widener UniversityChesterUSA
  3. 3.Kennesaw State UniversityKennesawUSA
  4. 4.Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  5. 5.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  6. 6.Western Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA

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