"I can't believe I just said that" : discursive filters and beginning mathematics teachers' enactment of ambitious practice
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After being introduced to "ambitious" teaching methods during teacher education, only some beginning teachers attempt to enact those methods, as others gravitate toward the conventional practices that overwhelm K-12 settings. To learn more about why, I conducted a multiple-case study of four beginning secondary mathematics teachers who graduated from three cohorts of one teacher education program and went on to teach in two different schools. Through longitudinal interviews and classroom observations, I examined the teachers' enactment of ambitious practice through the lenses of their discursive teaching identities (critical pedagogical discourses) and perceptions of messages about teaching circulating within their institutional settings (contextual discourses). Findings revealed that the extent to which teachers' critical pedagogical discourses acted as resources for filtering out contextual pressures to teach in conventional ways helped to explain their enactment of ambitious practice. Among other implications, these results suggest that teachers' discourse development should be a more explicit focus of teacher education.
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