RiSE Center Colloquium, April 2 at 3:00 pm in Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall)

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education


Monday, April 2, 2012
3:00-4:00 PM
Hill Auditorium, 165 Barrows Hall

Using definitions of mathematical knowledge for teaching: How do these constructs work in research on secondary and college mathematics teachers?

Natasha Speer
Department of Mathematics & Statistics

The construct  “mathematical knowledge for teaching” (MKT) has received considerable attention in the mathematics education community over the past decade. Much effort has been put towards the delineation and definition of particular types of knowledge used and needed by mathematics teachers, including Common Content Knowledge (CCK) and Specialized Content Knowledge (SCK). The various lines of research have yielded important and useful findings.

These efforts have been pursued almost exclusively in the context of elementary mathematics teaching. But what happens when researchers look instead at secondary or post-secondary teachers? Do these descriptions of various types of knowledge fit as well with data from non-elementary contexts given differences in background and content knowledge typically possessed by these populations of teachers?

I will present some theoretical questions that arose when using definitions of CCK and SCK in investigations into the nature of MKT at secondary and undergraduate levels. These questions will be illustrated with data from two mathematics instructional settings.