Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Developing Secondary Mathematics Teachers' Knowledge of and Capacity to Implement Instructional Tasks with High-Level Cognitive Demands

Boston, Melissa D. (2006) Developing Secondary Mathematics Teachers' Knowledge of and Capacity to Implement Instructional Tasks with High-Level Cognitive Demands. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (991kB) | Preview


DEVELOPING SECONDARY MATHEMATICS TEACHERS'KNOWLEDGE OF AND CAPACITY TO IMPLEMENT INSTRUCTIONAL TASKS WITH HIGH LEVEL COGNITIVE DEMANDSMelissa D. Boston, EdD University of Pittsburgh, 2006This study analyzed mathematics teachers' selection and implementation of instructional tasks in their own classrooms before, during, and after their participation in a professional development workshop focused on the cognitive demands of mathematical tasks. Eighteen secondary mathematics teachers participated in a six-session professional development workshop under the auspices of the Enhancing Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation (ESP) Project throughout the 2004-2005 school year. Data collected from the ESP workshop included written artifacts created during the professional development sessions and videotapes of each session. Data collected from teachers included a pre/post measure of teachers' knowledge of the cognitive demands of mathematical tasks, collections of tasks and student work from teachers' classrooms, lesson observations, and interviews. Ten secondary mathematics teachers who did not participate in the ESP workshop served as the contrast group, completed the pre/post measure, and participated in one lesson observation.Analysis of the data indicated that the ESP workshop provided learning experiences for teachers that transformed their previous knowledge and instructional practices. ESP teachers enhanced their knowledge of the cognitive demands of mathematical tasks; specifically, they improved their ability to identify and describe the characteristics of tasks that influence students' opportunities for learning. Following their participation in ESP, teachers were more frequently selecting high-level tasks as the main instructional tasks in their own classrooms. ESP teachers also improved their ability to maintain high-level cognitive demands during implementation. Student work implementation significantly improved from Fall to Spring, and comparisons of the implementation of high-level student work tasks indicated that high-level demands were less likely to decline in Spring than in Fall. Lesson observations did not yield statistically significant results from Fall to Spring; however, significant differences existed between ESP teachers and the contrast group in task selection and implementation during lesson observations. ESP teachers also outperformed the contrast group on the post-measure of the knowledge of cognitive demands of mathematical tasks. None of the significant differences were influenced by the use of a reform vs. traditional curricula in teachers' classrooms. Teachers who exhibited greater improvements more frequent contributions and more comments on issues of implementation than teachers who exhibited less improvement.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Boston, Melissa
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSmith, Margaretpegs@pitt.eduPEGS
Committee MemberAnsell, Ellenansell@pitt.eduANSELL
Committee MemberLeinhardt, Gaeagaea@pitt.eduGAEA
Committee MemberStein, Mary Kaymkstein@pitt.eduMKSTEIN
Date: 25 April 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 April 2006
Approval Date: 25 April 2006
Submission Date: 21 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive demands; mathematical tasks; mathematics; professional development; teaching
Other ID:, etd-04212006-000336
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item