CAREER: Investigating Middle and Secondary Mathematics Teachers' Transformative Learning of Statistics Within Professional Development

The project will examine how teachers reason about variation subsequent to focused instruction and contribute knowledge to in-service middle and secondary mathematics teacher education by targeting characteristics of professional development that might support teachers' reasoning about variation in increasingly sophisticated ways. The project will produce a coherent collection of shareable instructional materials for use in introductory statistics education and teacher education in statistics.

Full Description: 

This CAREER project addresses the professional development of middle and secondary mathematics teachers by investigating teachers' statistical reasoning and targeting characteristics of professional development that support teachers' development of increasingly sophisticated ways to reason about variation. Statistical variation plays a critical role throughout statistical investigation.

The project integrates educational and research activities in its design and implementation of a professional development program and research on the professional development. The research addresses three interrelated questions: In a professional development program that encourages reasoning about variation from multiple perspectives and that encourages dilemma, critical reflection, and rational discourse:

1. How do middle and secondary mathematics teachers reason about variation from design, data-centric, and modeling perspectives?

2. In what ways do dilemma, critical reflection, and rational discourse affect teachers' reasoning about variation?

3. How do teachers differently engage with and benefit from dilemma, critical reflection, and rational discourse?

The project relies on multiple data sources and strategically chosen combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods to answer the three research questions. Data sources from two cohorts of teachers include statistics assessments, interviews, video-recordings of program activities, reflective journals, and classroom observations.

The project will examine how teachers reason about variation subsequent to focused instruction and contribute knowledge to in-service middle and secondary mathematics teacher education by targeting characteristics of professional development that might support teachers' reasoning about variation in increasingly sophisticated ways. The project will produce a coherent collection of shareable instructional materials for use in introductory statistics education and teacher education in statistics.