“Maybe It’s a Status Problem.” Development of Mathematics Teacher Noticing for Equity
Evra M. Baldinger
Abstract This chapter proposes an aspect of teacher noticing for equity, bringing together ideas from literature related to educational equity and to the social nature of teacher learning. It argues two points and offers methods for empirical study to investigate them. First, it argues for an important direction for the study of teacher noticing that supports equitable instruction: noticing of the social system of the classroom within which power dynamics operate. Second, it argues that the development of this type of noticing for equity can be supported through purposeful, work-embedded interactions. It offers methods for the study of this development, and exemplifies those methods using data from a case study of teacher learning through conversations with an instructional coach, which take place in the context of an equity-focused professional development project.
Keywords Equity Discourse Teacher learning Sociocultural theories of learning Discourse analysis
This chapter considers teacher noticing in light of lessons learned from scholars concerned with, first, educational equity, and, second, with the social nature of teacher learning. It builds on the work of scholars concerned with educational equity, who have focused our attention on inequitable distribution of power, which takes place within classrooms and creates barriers to meaningful learning for some students (Boaler, 2008; Boaler & Greeno, 2000; Cohen & Lotan, 1997; Nasir & Hand, 2008). The chapter also builds on the work of scholars who have focused our attention on teachers learning in and from interactions that are intimately tied to their own teaching practice (Grossman, Wineburg, & Woolworth, 2001; Horn, 2005; Little, 2002; McLaughlin & Talbert, 2001; Wenger, 1998). Bringing these ideas together, this chapter argues two points and offers methods for empirical study
E.M. Baldinger (H)
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E.O. Schack et al. (eds.), Teacher Noticing: Bridging and Broadening Perspectives, Contexts, and Frameworks, Research in Mathematics Education,
to investigate them. First, I argue for an important direction for the study of teacher noticing that supports equitable instruction: noticing of the social system of the classroom within which power dynamics operate. Just as noticing of student thinking allows teachers to build appropriate responses to that thinking (Sherin et al., 2011), noticing of the social organization of the classroom supports teachers to respond appropriately. When teachers recognize classrooms as social systems within which power dynamics operate (rather than just collections of individual students and a teacher), they can attend to reconfiguring these social systems in ways that create more equitable access to opportunities for students to learn and to construct identities as competent doers of mathematics. They can intervene in status and power issues only when those issues are recognized for what they are (and not, for example, interpreted as individual students lacking motivation or desire to learn).
Second, I argue that the development of this type of teacher noticing for equity can be supported through purposeful, work-embedded interactions. I offer methods for the study of this development, and exemplify those methods using data from a case study of teacher learning in the context of an ongoing, equity-focused professional development project.