Developing prospective elementary teachers' abilities to identify evidence of student mathematical achievement

Sandy M. Spitzer, Christine M. Phelps, James E.R. Beyers, Delayne Y. Johnson, Elizabeth M. Sieminski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of a classroom intervention on prospective elementary teachers' ability to evaluate evidence of student achievement of mathematical learning goals. The intervention was informed by a framework for teacher education which aims to provide prospective teachers (PTs) with the skills needed to systematically learn from their own teaching practice. Prospective teachers (N = 160) participated in an intervention aimed at addressing their misconceptions about evidence of student learning. Results revealed that after the intervention, PTs were less likely to consider teacher behaviors to be evidence of student learning and more likely to discount student responses that were irrelevant to a specified learning goal. However, PTs were still likely to take procedural fluency as evidence of conceptual understanding and may have become overly skeptical of student understanding. Implications of the study suggest new ways of developing prospective teachers' ability to systematically study and improve their teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-87
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Mathematics Teacher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Analyzing student work
  • Analyzing teaching
  • Evaluating teaching
  • Learning to teach
  • Prospective teachers
  • Teacher preparation


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