Today, I have attended three sessions at AERA, including the symposium session where I made my own presentation.
The other two sessions I attended where both within the Special Interest Group (SIG) for research in mathematics education. The first was called Mathematics Content and Pedagogical Knowledge of Preservice and Inservice Teachers. The session consisted of five individual paper presentations, and a very interesting contribution in the end by discussant Michael D. Steele from Michigan State University. One of the issues he pointed at was the very important question: How does teacher knowledge and beliefs operationalize into practice? This is a very interesting question, but also very hard to give an answer to.
The second session (ours was in between) had four presentations followed by some comments from Edward A. Silver. the session was entitled: Knowledge for Teaching mathematics – A Structured Inquiry. As Silver commented, the papers in this presentation were rather different, from the ones attempting to approach a grand theory of teacher knowledge, to the ones who tried to contribute to a more distinct area of this field. Silver also pointed to some important questions here. One was related to this phrase: “Teachers need to know…” What does this mean? And what is the warrant? He also made some comments about the cultural issues that are involved in this, and he said some very nice things about the symposium I was in as well, which is of course flattering to hear from someone like him!
In conclusion, it has been an interesting day, and there have been lots of interesting presentations concerning teacher knowledge, which happens to be the field that I am most interested in.