1. Meixia Ding
  3. Temple University
  1. Ryan Hassler
  2. Graduate Assistant
  4. Temple University

CAREER: Algebraic Knowledge for Teaching: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

NSF Awards: 1350068

2015 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

What knowledge is needed for teaching algebra in early grades? What practices are effective for realizing student success? These questions have received considerable attention in the mathematics education community. The goal of this research is to identify, from a cross-cultural perspective, essential Algebraic Knowledge for Teaching (AKT) that will enable elementary teachers to better develop students’ algebraic thinking. Focusing on two fundamental mathematical ideas recently emphasized by the Common Core State Standards – inverse relations and properties of operations – this study explores AKT based on integrated insights of the U.S. and Chinese expert teachers’ classroom performance. It will be focused on three objectives: (1) identify AKT that facilitates algebraic thinking and develop preliminary findings into teaching materials; (2) refine research-based teaching materials based on the evaluative data; and (3) integrate research with education through course development at Temple University and teacher outreach in Philadelphia. A design-based research method will be used to accomplish objectives. Cross-cultural videotaped lessons will be first analyzed to identify AKT, focusing on teachers’ use of worked examples, representations, and deep questions. This initial set of findings will then be developed into teaching materials. The U.S. and Chinese expert teachers will re-teach the lessons as part of the refinement process. It is expected that project findings will shed light on approaches to teach early algebra and promote various collaboration. It is also expected that the videos of expert teaching will also be useful future research by cognitive researchers studying ways to improve mathematics learning.

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