Title

Preservice Teachers’ Use of Mathematics Tasks In Relation To Their Experiences With, Goals For, and Beliefs About English Learners

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2021

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

School

Education

Abstract

In this study we examined three preservice elementary teachers’ (PSTs) use of mathematics tasks with English learners (ELs) during a field experience. For each of the first three weeks of the field experience, the PSTs were provided tasks for which to plan a lesson for a one-on-one session with an EL. Drawing on Brown’s (2009) notion of Pedagogical Design Capacity, we analyzed the PSTs’ lesson plans, weekly interviews, and written reflections to identify the ways in which the PSTs’ beliefs about, goals for, and experiences with the ELs impacted their use of the tasks. We were particularly interested in how the PSTs attended to the linguistic aspects of the tasks. We found that the PSTs’ overarching beliefs about teaching drove their desire to remove potential barriers and that they attempted to reduce students’ struggles by modifying the tasks that they were provided. The PSTs utilized a range of modifications, including replacing potentially unfamiliar words, changing contexts, and increasing the white space in the tasks. Though some of these strategies were successful in removing barriers, they did not always facilitate students’ linguistic development. Implications include the need for teacher educators to disrupt PSTs’ notions of effective teaching in the hopes their goals transition from removing barriers to providing scaffolds.

Publication Title

ZDM - Mathematics Education

Volume

53

Issue

2

First Page

419

Last Page

433

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