Honors Students' Abstracts
Similarities and Differences In Two Teachers' Teaching Practices During Math and Science Lessons
Tonya Warren, Asha Weisman, Jonna Crocker, Chloé Dove, Nicole Froidevaux, Greg Smith, Vandana Thadani, Katelyn Wirtz
Teachers are often viewed as one of the most influential variables when it comes to student learning. However, despite their importance, there are few quantitative measures of teaching. This project investigates how measures of teaching can be used to understand classroom teaching practices. In a previous study, measures of teaching were developed to categorize the tasks, questions, and suggestions that teachers give to students (Thadani, Stevens, & Tao, 2009). In the current study we are using these measures to examine the similarities and differences in teaching practices between teachers and across subject domains. Specifically, we are examining whether teachers are consistent with their use of tasks, questions, and suggestions in two subject domains or more consistent within a given subject domain. In this case study, two middle school teachers, each teaching both math and science, were filmed in their classrooms. Their tasks, questions, and suggestions, (referred to as teacher tasks and questions or “TTQ”) were categorized based on rules called “codes”. Two competing hypotheses will be tested: (1) teachers have a general teaching style, or a specific use of TTQs, regardless of the subject domain in which they are teaching; (2) teachers’ use of TTQs will be dependent on the subject domain; that is, TTQs will be more similar within math and science rather than within teachers. This study serves to illustrate how measures can be used to explore teaching practices, and these methods can subsequently be applied to larger samples and a variety of classroom contexts.