Understanding Teacher Noticing for Equitable Mathematics Instruction

Investigator: Elizabeth van Es and Victoria Hand (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Funding: Spencer Foundation

Research Objectives

Recent research in mathematics education suggests that the educational system inadvertently exacerbates patterns of disenfranchisement for learners from non-dominant ethnic, racial, and linguistic backgrounds. Recognizing this problem, in 2007, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2007) issued an imperative for teachers to be prepared to address issues of social justice in their classrooms. That is, teachers are to hold expectations for, knowledge of, and dispositions toward students from non-dominant backgrounds that reflect an awareness of the relations between power, culture, and learning. However, teachers have little training in how to address issues of equity during instruction. This ability to attend to and respond to students’ experiences during a lesson has been identified as a characteristic of expert teaching, what is referred to as teacher noticing. The goal of this study is to investigate and characterize the noticing of teachers who are exceptional at equitable mathematics instruction. In particular, we seek to understand what they notice in the context of their everyday classroom teaching and how they use what they observe to promote equitable learning opportunities for their students.