The Need to Prepare Prospective Teachers to Engage in Mathematics Consultations
Keywords:teacher preparation, special education, equity, learning disabilities, consultation, collaboration, inclusion
The mathematics consultation represents a powerful opportunity for mathematics teachers to leverage the knowledge base of special education professionals to advance equity for students with special education needs. Yet, most teacher preparation programs do not specifically prepare prospective teachers to engage in mathematics consultations. We designed this baseline study to understand the consequences of this lack of preparation. We provided an opportunity for prospective elementary teachers of mathematics and prospective special education teachers to engage in a consultation about the mathematics learning of a student with special education needs. We analysed the characteristics of these consultations and found that the prospective teachers’ questions and responses lacked mathematics context and ignored student engagement in mathematical practices. Given these findings, we provide recommendations for how mathematics teacher educators might better prepare prospective teachers for the questioning and answering stages of mathematics consultations.
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