Learning about teaching through research and vice versa: Towards developing methods in graduate coursework

Tina Kathleen Rapke, Margaret Karrass


The research on methods used in graduate mathematics education courses is limited, however, existing groundwork suggests that curriculum should provide students with experiences that align with the practices of mathematics education researchers. At the same time, calls to bridge mathematics education research and classroom practice have been clearly articulated both within and outside the literature on the preparation of mathematics education researchers. This study describes a process that we call learning about teaching through research and vice versa (LTR). Specifically, the process involves graduate students doing a mathematical task, reading a research paper about the same mathematical task, and finally completing an assignment that was based on viewing video data from a school classroom where the same task was enacted. Phenomenography was used to analyse written survey data and report that graduate students experienced the process as teachers, researchers and teacher-researchers. The results indicate that the implemented methodology 1) offered students an opportunity to experience practices similar to those mathematics education researchers engage in while pursuing scholarly inquiries, and 2) provided a setting where students learned about teaching and mathematics education research. Finally, the results support the claim that the LTR process acts as an example where research and practice enhanced one another and thus bridged the perceived gap between research and practice.


teacher learning; professional development; graduate coursework in mathematics education

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