Teachers try to teach mathematics. Students try to learn mathematics. Both processes can be improved or enhanced if the teacher knows (and uses) some research specific to the teaching/learning actions that occur in his/her classroom. In many cases, this research can justify pedagogical approaches...and in others, perhaps even create changes in the same.
Yet, it is well-documented that most teachers do not know or use research, especially anything more current than research they might have been exposed to when obtaining their teaching certificates. What to do?
First, it takes extra motivation for the interested teacher to search out the research. Often, it might be in the form of sound-bytes produced by someone's distillation efforts. Another option is to start by browsing through research reports themselves....though it takes extra effort and access (and knowledge) to separate the useful from the inane. RCML to the rescue here.
Each year, the Research Council for Mathematics Learning holds a conference. And, it now makes its Proceedings available freely on-line in a pdf-format. For example, their most recent Conference was held in Charlotte (NC), February 23-25, 2012. The 244-page Proceedings is a written record of the research and discussions presented by a wide range of scholars. An overall goal for the Conference was "Learning, Teaching, and Knowledge: (Re)Constructing Mathematical Ontologies and Epistemologies
in an Era of Transition." That is a mouthful...but do not be intimidated.
Download the RCML 2012 Proceedings. You will find it divided into these content areas:
If you do not find articles of interest, then you can still download RCML 2011 Proceedings or RCML 2010 Proceedings.
- Preservice Teacher Preparation
- Mathematics Teaching Methods and Practice
- Mathematics Learning
- Research Collaboratives
Finally, please browse the RCML website
itself, as they offer a journal and a newsletter, and a chance to communicate with others around common conmcerns.
I know you are busy. I know reading research can be tedious. BUT, I also KNOW that YOU will find something in these Proceedings that will be of interest, of value, or of use to you. I did! View it as a personal step towards Professional Development. Browse...read what catches your eye and attention.