Early Career Elementary Teachers’ Efforts to Plan and Enact Ambitious Mathematics Instruction

AERA Division K, Section 1

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) reform documents (2014; 2020) and the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSI, 2010) call for U.S. elementary teachers to plan and enact ambitious mathematics instruction in equitable ways to help all students acquire procedural fluency and develop conceptual understanding. Research indicates that most early career elementary teachers (ECTs) have access to many resources including mathematics curricula, instructional coaches, social media resources, and teacher colleagues. But we know less from scholarship about which resources are most useful to ECTs in planning and teaching mathematics or how they decide which ones to use. Also, ECTs who have less access to valuable resources, or choose to employ less useful ones, seem less likely to enact ambitious practices that feature equitable learning opportunities in mathematics. In addition, few studies have explored how novice elementary teachers react to external expectations, such as high-stakes teacher evaluation, in teaching mathematics or which elements of their instruction promote mathematics learning gains.

This symposium (on April 9th, 2021 at 4:10 EST) features five papers that examine these questions with varying data sources and research methods. Each paper is from the same large-scale, mixed-methods longitudinal study of how elementary ECTs plan and enact mathematics instruction. This symposium brings together papers that utilize different data sources and analytic strategies to help build a knowledge base about early career teachers’ use of resources in teaching mathematics and how mathematics instruction is associated with student math learning.