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Studying mathematics instruction through different lenses: setting the ground for understanding instructional quality more comprehensively

Abstract

Researchers from different fields have developed different observational instruments to capture instructional quality with a focus on generic versus content-specific dimensions or a combination of both. As this work is fast accumulating, the need to explore synergies and complementarities among existing work on instruction and its quality becomes imperative, given the complexity of instruction and the increasing realization that different frameworks illuminate certain instructional aspects but leave others less visible. This special issue makes a step toward exploring such synergies and complementarities, drawing on the analysis of the same 3 elementary-school lessons by 11 groups using 12 different frameworks. The purpose of the current paper is to provide an up-to-date overview of prior attempts made to work at the intersection of different observational frameworks. The paper also serves as the reference point for the other papers included in the special issue, by defining the goals and research questions driving the explorations presented in each paper, outlining the criteria for selecting the frameworks included in the special issue, describing the sampling approaches for the selected lessons, presenting the content of these lessons, and providing an overview of the structure of each paper.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Lindorff and Sammons (this issue) have not developed the frameworks utilized in their work but combine existing frameworks to better understand instructional quality. Similarly, Berlin and Cohen (this issue) are not amongst the original developers of the CLASS instrument.

  2. We would like to thank Heather C. Hill from the Harvard Graduate School of Education for generously giving access to these videotaped lessons to all researchers contributing to the special issue.

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Correspondence to Charalambos Y. Charalambous.

Appendix A

Appendix A

Our literature search was based on the search engines Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar, using the following search terms:

  • Classroom observation AND mathematics.

  • Multiple observation instruments AND mathematics.

  • Multiple observation instruments AND mathematics instruction.

  • Multiple lenses for classroom observations.

  • Multiple lenses for lesson observations.

  • Multiple lenses for observations.

  • Different lenses to capture teaching AND mathematics.

  • Generic teaching practices AND mathematics.

  • Content specific teaching practices AND mathematics.

  • Integrat* generic and content-specific practices.

  • Teacher observations AND mathematics.

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Charalambous, C.Y., Praetorius, AK. Studying mathematics instruction through different lenses: setting the ground for understanding instructional quality more comprehensively. ZDM Mathematics Education 50, 355–366 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-018-0914-8

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Keywords

  • Content-specific dimensions
  • Generic dimensions
  • Instructional quality
  • Mathematics instruction
  • Observation
  • Teaching quality