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Title page for ETD etd-04122017-151329

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pfaff, Erin
URN etd-04122017-151329
Title The role of teacher rehearsal in classroom mathematics discourse
Degree PhD
Department Learning, Teaching and Diversity
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Richard Lehrer Committee Chair
Ilana Horn Committee Member
Leona Schauble Committee Member
Marcy Singer-Gabella Committee Member
Philip Crooke Committee Member
  • teacher education
  • mathematics education
  • middle school mathematics
  • rehearsal
  • inservice teacher education
  • classroom discourse
Date of Defense 2017-03-31
Availability unrestricted
Classroom mathematics discussions are difficult for teachers to orchestrate. They require attending to and responding to students’ ideas about mathematics in ways that are responsive to their approaches, yet also guiding the group toward more sophisticated mathematical understanding. Deliberate practice is a promising approach to preparing teachers for this work. In this dissertation I focus on a form of deliberate practice called rehearsal that provides teachers an opportunity to role-play these discussions while instructors provide coaching and feedback. I provide a synthesis of literature that illuminates the learning opportunities in rehearsal and situates rehearsal as one component of a larger learning cycle that helps teachers learn how to learn from their own practice. I then offer two empirical analyses that examine the role of rehearsal in changes to the classroom practice of inservice middle school math teachers. These analyses conclude that the content of teachers’ questions are particularly susceptible to change as a result of rehearsal and are propelled through moments of teacher self-correction and conflict with previously-established classroom norms.

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