HSE Math: Reflective Math Teaching

students on computers with a teacher helping one of the students

The NCTM Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics argue that a primary factor in the professional growth of teachers is the opportunity teachers have to “reflect on learning and teaching individually and with colleagues.”

But what should teachers reflect on? There is no right answer to that question, in this section we share some work we’ve been doing to support teacher reflection, focusing on student mathematical thinking on non-routine math problems.

The reflection model is structured on three sets of questions focusing on three important aspects of your teaching—planning, student work, and reflection/revision. The goal of these questions is to help you learn from your experience and from the experience of your students. Each of us is a scientist looking into learning. The planning phase is your problem-posing and hypothesizing. The teaching is the experiment, and the student work is the data collection and observation. The reflection is the conclusion and may lead to a revised hypothesis and a new “teaching experiment.”

Call to Action: There are three sample reflections here, written by a teacher leader at a community-based organization in Brooklyn, NY. We have also developed a website - Math Memos - for adult numeracy teachers to read and post problems and write reflections and share student work. We believe in teacher-led professional development of practice. Let us turn our classrooms into laboratories to learn about learning and share what we discover.

Read the full Reflective Math Teaching document.