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Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 577–601 | Cite as

Exploring iconic interpretation and mathematics teacher development through clinical simulations

  • Benjamin Dotger
  • Joanna Masingila
  • Mary Bearkland
  • Sharon Dotger
Article

Abstract

Field placements serve as the traditional ‘clinical’ experience for prospective mathematics teachers to immerse themselves in the mathematical challenges of students. This article reports data from a different type of learning experience, that of a clinical simulation with a standardized individual. We begin with a brief background on medical education’s long-standing use of standardized patients, and the recent diffusion of clinical simulations to teacher and school leader preparation contexts. Then, we describe a single mathematics simulation and report data from prospective mathematics teachers’ interactions with a standardized student on the issue of iconic interpretation. Findings highlight teachers’ diagnostic, explanatory, mathematical, and instructional repertoires, as they guide a standardized student through two different graphing problems. Implications focus on the trends in teachers’ instructional decisions, contextualized explanations, and the use of clinical simulations to enhance mathematics teacher development.

Keywords

Clinical simulation Iconic interpretation Mathematics teacher education Teacher development 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Science Foundation’s Discovery Research K-12 (DR-K12) program for its support of this research (Award #1118772). The perspectives represented in this manuscript are solely those of the authors and do not represent the views or opinions of the National Science Foundation. Additionally, the authors acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of three JMTE reviewers and their contributions to refining this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Dotger
    • 1
  • Joanna Masingila
    • 2
  • Mary Bearkland
    • 3
  • Sharon Dotger
    • 4
  1. 1.Teaching and LeadershipSyracuse University School of EducationSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Mathematics EducationSyracuse University School of EducationSyracuseUSA
  3. 3.Science TeachingSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  4. 4.Teaching and Leadership, Science TeachingSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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