Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Grant, S. G., Peterson, P. L., & Shojgreen-Downer, A. (1996). Learning to teach mathematics in the context of systemic reform. American Educational Research Journal, 33, 509-541.

This article looks at how three elementary teachers understand recent mathematics reform in California. California policymakers assumed that aligning textbooks, tests, and the Framework would bring greater coherence to the system and ultimately leverage teachers' classroom practice. The researchers found, however, that California teachers are just like their students in that they learn in different ways, construct different understandings, and respond with different behaviors. While each teacher changed his or her practice, their practices continued to vary considerably. The cases revealed that policy documents offer only visions of reform that remain to be embellished, made real, and enacted in practice. Reforms push in two directionsÑaway from old ideas and practices and toward new ideas and practices. New learning is always shaped by old learning. The authors conclude that policymakers must consider the crucial role of teacher learning in reform and teacher learning is more complex than simple access to opportunities to learn about reform.

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