Journal Articles

Ball, D. L. (2005). Knowing mathematics for teaching: Who knows mathematics well enough to teach third grade, and how can we decide? American Educator, 29(1), 14-17, 20-22, 43-46.
This article examines the actual work of elementary mathematics teachers, noting challenges that draw on mathematical resources; followed by an analysis of the nature of mathematical skills in the work of teaching. This article traces the development of "mathematical knowledge for teaching."

Campbell, P. (2009). Research findings about elementary mathematics coaches and their impact on student achievement and teachers. The research Pre-Session of the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Washington, DC, April 2009.

This presentation addresses: 1) What activities did [Virginia's] coaches engage in and what proportion of their time did they spend completing those duties? 2) What is the effect of coaches on student achievement? 3) What is the effect of coaches on teachers' beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning?

Campbell, P. & Malkus, N. (2009). School Improvement through Elementary Mathematics Coaches: Impact on Teacher Beliefs and Student Achievement. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, April 2009.
The researchers investigated two questions for this paper: 1) What activities did [Virginia's] elementary mathematics coaches engage in and what proportion of their total time did they spend completing those differing duties? 2) What was the impact of coaches on student achievement, as influenced by coaches' degree of involvement with individual teachers and by teachers' beliefs and teacher experience?

Blount, D. & Singleton, J. (2008). School division leaders keen on in-school mathematics experts. The Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations, 10, 133-144.
The members of the policy team for the TPC grant project interviewed 12 school division policy leaders about the important role of mathematics specialists in their [Virginia] school divisions. They discussed their reasons for wanting a specialist in their schools, the possibility of continuing to employ a specialist beyond the grant funding period, the program designed for training specialists, the possibility of expanding the program of other elementary and middle schools in the state. The division of policy leaders were very supportive of mathematics specialists and the important role they play in elementary school buildings.

Blount, D. & Singleton, J. (2007). The role and impact of the mathematics specialist from the principal's perspectives. The Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations, 9, 69-77.

The members of the policy team for the [Virginia] TPC grant project interviewed 12 principals about the integration of mathematics specialists in their school building. Through their conversations, several significant aspects of the mathematics specialist role in the school building emerged. Specifically, the principal's role in helping the specialist with her work, the types of activities the specialist engages in, the specialist's role in teacher improvement and retention, and the specialist's work with students in diverse populations, and the specialist involvement in activities for parents and other community members. The principals were pleased with the work that specialists do and the impact they are having on all members of their buildings.

The Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations, Volume 9, Spring 2007, PART I: Special Issue, Mathematics Specialist Experiences
Fourteen articles in this special issue explore the experiences and lessons learned by those who have served in or observed the roles of the elementary mathematics specialist.

The Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations, Volume 8, Spring 2005, Special Issue, Mathematics Specialists
Four articles document the case for mathematics specialists, the work of a mathematics specialist task force and the history of mathematics specialists in Virginia. The eleven articles that follow examine various district implementation and professional development models, then detail the financial support initiatives for mathematics specialists in Virginia.

The Time Has Come for Pre-K-5 Mathematics Specialists, by Johnny Lot (July/August 2003)
Originally published in the NCTM News Bulletin, the article mentions that research shows that students of more knowledgeable teachers achieve at a higher level on standardized tests. The author calls for mathematics specialists for the elementary grades.

Schoenfeld, A. H. (2009). Working with schools: The story of a mathematics education collaboration. American Mathematical Monthly, 116(3), 197-217.
Working for meaningful mathematical change in the schools isn't easy. There are issues of politics, turf, and sometimes unreasonable expectations on the part of the school district and the volunteers who work with it. But with good intentions, goodwill, and tenacity, there are ways to make a difference. This paper describes some of the ups, downs, and the ultimate progress in a collaboration between U.C. Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School district. It offers lessons to mathematicians who want to understand an/or work with their local schools.

We Need Elementary Mathematics Specialists NOW, by Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell (November 2006)
Originally published in the NCTM News Bulletin, the article outlines how mathematics specialists are currently being used in some schools/districts and why mathematics specialists are needed in all elementary schools.

Whitenack, J. & Ellington, A. (2009). K-5 mathematics specialists' teaching and learning about fractions. The Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations, to appear.
The article describes the fraction-based activities of two teachers who were part of the MSP grant funded mathematics specialist preparation program. Their work with fractions is traced from two perspectives: 1) their interactions with students as they struggle with fraction concepts and 2) their personal journeys to develop deeper understandings of fractions in a rational numbers course that is part of the degree program. These stories provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the complex nature of the work of the specialist and the importance of a strong program to prepare them for their work.

Whitenack, J. & Ellington, A. (2007). A Methodology to Explain Teachers' Emerging Roles as K-5 Mathematics Specialists. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL, April 2007
This paper describes the emerging roles of two K-5 mathematics specialists who are or will be serving in leadership roles in their respective school buildings. One of the two teachers is s regular elementary classroom teacher, whereas the other teacher serves as a mathematics specialist in her school building. Both of these individuals were participants in a case study research program conducted through the MSP grant. They also completed the degree option through the MSP project. The aim of this research study is to understand the participants' induction processes in different settings as they become and/or continue to serve as mathematics specialists. The mathematics specialists coaches teachers on a daily basis and is established as the resident expert on how children learn mathematics. The classroom teacher designs her own opportunities to collaborate and co-teach with other teachers in her building. While she is not the specialist for her building, she is someone that others turn to with questions related to curriculum and pedagogical issues.

Wu, H. (2009). What's sophisticated about elementary mathematics specialists: Plenty--that's why elementary schools need math teachers. American Educator, 33(3), 4-14.
Improving mathematics instruction is a priority in the United States, but there’s little agreement on how to do it. Here’s an idea that is rarely discussed: starting no later than fourth grade, math should be taught by math teachers (who teach only math). Teaching elementary math in a way that prepares students for algebra is more challenging than many people realize. Given the deep content knowledge that teaching math requires—not to mention the expertise that teaching reading demands—it’s time to reconsider the generalist elementary teacher’s role.

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