Learning through Teaching: An Exploration of Teachers' Feedback Systems in Support of Responsive Teaching in Mathematics
Elizabeth Dyer

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Northwestern University

Primary Discipline

Teacher Education/Teaching and Learning
The reform movement in mathematics education, most recently supported by the new Common Core Standards, calls for a new approach to instruction that is a significant departure from widespread teaching methods. Teachers are expected be responsive to student thinking by noticing and building upon students? emerging understanding. Currently, growth towards responsive teaching primarily happens through multi-year ongoing professional development. However, some exemplary teachers are able to learn from their classroom experiences to become more responsive. This little-studied phenomenon has the potential to be an extremely powerful way to change teaching practice. It opens up the possibility of shifting the focus of professional development toward preparing teachers to learn from their own teaching. In this study I first examine secondary mathematics teachers that use their classroom experiences as feedback to make their teaching more responsive to student thinking. These results will inform my design of a professional development experience for secondary mathematics teachers focused on enabling teachers to learn from their teaching experiences in similar ways, which will be implemented and studied in the final stage of this work. This study will contribute to our understanding of how teachers? sense-making of their classroom experiences supports growth towards responsive teaching. In addition, this study will advance our understanding of how professional development can enable teachers to make sense of their experiences in productive ways. Practically, this study will inform the ways we support reform-oriented teacher growth and propose a new model of professional development with greater potential efficiency and scalability.
About Elizabeth Dyer

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