Advancing Reasoning addresses the lack of materials for teacher education by investigating pre-service secondary mathematics teachers' quantitative reasoning in the context of secondary mathematics concepts including function and algebra. The project extends prior research in quantitative reasoning to develop differentiated instructional experiences and curriculum that support prospective teachers' quantitative reasoning and produce shifts in their knowledge.
Covariational reasoning, or the ability to reason about relationships as quantities change together, is one way of thinking that can provide a foundation for students to build their more abstract algebraic knowledge. This research builds a foundation for integrating education and research at the intersection of students’ developing algebraic knowledge, covariational reasoning, and new educational technologies to create a new path into algebra. This path can help remove barriers that have historically restricted access to mathematics and STEM coursework and careers.
In this project, we examine middle-school students’ understandings of coordinate systems and frames of reference prior to examining their graph construction and interpretation. This focus allows us to design instructional materials that can support students’ graphing understandings in ways that avoid or mitigate how persistent challenges in students’ graphing understandings identified in the research literature.