# A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF LEARNING TO USE CHILDREN'S THINKING IN MATHEMATICS INSTRUCTION

**Elizabeth Fennema****Thomas P. Carpenter****Megan L. Franke****Linda Levi****Victoria R. Jacobs****Susan B. Empson**

CiteWeb id: 20160000032

CiteWeb score: 902

This study examined changes in the beliefs and instruction of 21 primary grade teachers over a 4-year period in which the teachers participated in a CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) teacher development program that focused on helping the teachers understand the development of children's mathematical thinking by interacting with a specific research-based model. Over the 4 years, there were fundamental changes in the beliefs and instruction of 18 teachers such that the teachers' role evolved from demonstrating procedures to helping children build on their mathematical thinking by engaging them in a variety of problem-solving situations and encouraging them to talk about their mathematical thinking. Changes in the instruction of individual teachers were directly related to changes in their students' achievement. For every teacher, class achievement in concepts and problem solving was higher at the end of the study than at the beginning. In spite of the shift in emphasis from skills to concepts and problem solving, there was no overall change in computational performance. The findings suggest that developing an understanding of children's mathematical thinking can be a productive basis for helping teachers to make the fundamental changes called for in current reform recommendations. Reforming math [teaching] ... at its heart is a problem of [teachers'] learning. [And one of the critical things they must learn is] knowledge of children and their mathematics [which] is crucial to teaching for understanding. (Ball, 1994, p. 1)

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