Preservice Secondary Mathematics Teachers' Learning of Purposeful Questioning and Judicious Telling for Promoting Students' Mathematical Thinking

Open Access
Freeburn, Benjamin Louis
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 21, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Edith Frances Arbaugh, Dissertation Advisor
  • Edith Frances Arbaugh, Committee Chair
  • Gwendolyn Monica Lloyd, Committee Member
  • James F Nolan Jr., Committee Member
  • Andrea Vujan Mccloskey, Committee Member
  • Stephanie L Knight, Committee Member
  • Teacher Education - Preservice
  • Classroom Discourse
The field of teacher education is currently experiencing a shift towards curricula focused on practices for teaching and professional coursework designed around different pedagogies of practice (e.g., decomposition of, representations of, and approximations of practice). Researchers and research-informed documents have identified a variety of mathematics teaching practices, one of which is facilitating classroom mathematics discourse. Further, researchers have identified some key practices that constitute facilitating classroom mathematics discourse such as assessing questions and advancing questions (Smith, Bill, & Hughes, 2008) and judicious telling (Lobato, Clarke, & Ellis, 2005). In a methods course designed to engage preservice secondary mathematics teachers (PSMTs) in course activities designed around pedagogies of practice and focused on Types of Teacher Talk (TTT) (i.e., assessing questions, advancing questions, and judicious telling), this study sought to examine what PSMTs learn about TTT and in what ways the course activities were connected to their learning. The design of the study was informed by the interpretive research genre and the study employed qualitative data collection and analysis techniques to explore four case studies of the PSMTs’ learning of TTT. The results of the study indicate that the PSMTs, over the course of the semester, constructed conceptions of TTT that were oriented towards focusing on and promoting students’ mathematical thinking. In addition, while there were similarities among the PSMTs’ conceptions of TTT, they constructed these conceptions in individually distinct ways. Study implications include the design of preservice teacher education professional coursework that engages preservice teachers in multiple and extended experiences with a small set of teaching practices.