Developing Mathematical Thinking: Changing Teachers’ Knowledge and Instruction

Jonathan L. Brendefur, Keith Thiede, Sam Strother, Kim Bunning, Duane Peck


In the present research, we evaluated the effectiveness of a multi-year professional development program in mathematics for elementary teachers. Each year the program focused on a different domain of mathematics. We found the program increased teachers’ knowledge of (a) number and operations, (b) measurement and geometry, and (c) probability and statistics. We also examined the relation between mathematical knowledge and teaching practices. Across the three domains neither pretest nor posttest mathematical knowledge were related to classroom teaching practices. However, change in knowledge was positively related to six different dimensions of teaching practice for number and operations, and for measurement and geometry; and was positively related to four or six dimensions for probability and statistics. That is, those teachers with greater changes in knowledge demonstrated more effective instruction.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Jonathan L. Brendefur, Keith Thiede, Sam Strother, Kim Bunning, Duane Peck

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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