Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching and the Mathematical Quality of Instruction: An Exploratory Study
Cognition and Instruction, Volume 26, Number 4 (October 2008), 430 - 511
Heather Hill, Merrie Blunk, Charalambos Charalambous, Jennifer Lewis, Geoffrey Phelps, Laurie Sleep, Deborah Loewenberg Ball
This study illuminates claims that teachers' mathematical knowledge plays an important role in their teaching of this subject matter. In particular, we focus on teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT), which includes both the mathematical knowledge that is common to individuals working in diverse professions and the mathematical knowledge that is specialized to teaching. We use a series of five case studies and associated quantitative data to detail how MKT is associated with the mathematical quality of instruction. Although there is a significant, strong, and positive association between levels of MKT and the mathematical quality of instruction, we also find that there are a number of important factors that mediate this relationship, either supporting or hindering teachers' use of knowledge in practice.