[...] even when educators stand behind student-centered methods in general, many believe such methods are inappropriate for particular groups of students (Spillane, 2001), such as English-language learners (ELLs), students who lack basic mathematical skills, students of poverty, and students from non-mainstream home cultures. [...] I hope to establish a custom among local mathematics teachers of being videotaped for the purpose of teacher education.
Julie Quarterly, Teacher EducationGainsburg Spring 2009 Creating Effective Video To Promote Student-Centered Teaching By Julie Gainsburg Training and investing teachers at all career levels in student-centered prac- tices is widely recognized as a significant challenge (Anderson, 1989; Spillane & Zeuli, 1999). Teacher resistance to educational reform has been well documented for decades (Cohen, 1989, 1990; Cuban, 1988), and mathematics teaching seems particularly impervious. Various studies document the failure of student-centered teaching practices to take hold in K-12 mathematics classrooms in significant ways, including collaborative work, (Jacobs, Hiebert, Givvin, Hollingsworth, Garnier, & Wearne, 2006); problems that are cognitively demanding or that encourage connec- tions (Jacobs, et al., 2006; Stein, Smith, Henningsen, & Silver, 1999), inquiry-based approaches (Weiss, Pasley, Smith, Banilower, & Heck, 2003); teacher questioning to enhance student understanding (Spillane & Zeuli, 1999; Weiss, et al., 2003); classroom-based perfor- Julie Gainsburg is an mance assessments (Borko, Mayfield, Marion, Flexer, assistant professor in the & Cumbo, 1997); and student choice (Jacobs, et al., Department of Secondary 2006). While pre-service math-teacher education is Education in the Michael not solely to blame for this failure, it is also the case D. Eisner College of that pre-service training has been relatively unsuccess- Education at California ful at promoting nontraditional teaching practices in State University, new mathematics teachers, in spite of the efforts and Northridge. intentions of university-based teacher educators. 163 Creating Effective Video to Promote Student-Centered Teaching Overcoming resistance to student-centered methods has been my major challenge in teaching the secondary-level mathematics-methods course in my institution’s cre- dential program. Researchers have identified several phenomena that work against the acceptance of student-centered teaching practices, but two have particular relevance for my pre-service teachers (PSTs).1 First, because most teachers (and administra- tors) experienced mostly or exclusively traditional schooling as students, they are unfamiliar with, and have little faith in, nontraditional methods (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Smith, 1996). Second, even when educators stand behind student-centered methods in general, many believe such methods are inappropriate for particular groups of students (Spillane, 2001), such as English-language learners (ELLs), students who lack basic mathematical skills, students of poverty, and students from non-mainstream home cultures. I see both phenomena operating in my methods
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