An Up-Close Look at Student-Centered Math Teaching: A Study of Highly Regarded High School Teachers and Their Students
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted a study of highly regarded high school math teachers to expand the research on student-centered instruction. The researchers used a case study approach to provide rich descriptions of how the student-centered mathematics approach plays out in several classrooms. They also looked across a larger sample of classrooms to determine the effects of varying degrees of student-centeredness on students’ engagement with learning and their problem-solving skills. The study found a range of instructional approaches that provided opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with mathematics. It also “showed positive, significant relationships between the study’s measure of student-centered practices and students’ engagement and problem-solving skills, suggesting that the benefits of having a highly regarded mathematics teacher may be even greater if the teacher is more student-centered in his or her approach” (p. 36). The paper concludes with “three concrete implications for policymakers and practitioners who are interested in promoting student-centered instruction in mathematics” (p. 37).