Exploring iconic interpretation and mathematics teacher development through clinical simulations

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10 Scopus citations


Field placements serve as the traditional ‘clinical’ experience for prospective mathematics teachers to immerse themselves in the mathematical challenges of students. This article reports data from a different type of learning experience, that of a clinical simulation with a standardized individual. We begin with a brief background on medical education’s long-standing use of standardized patients, and the recent diffusion of clinical simulations to teacher and school leader preparation contexts. Then, we describe a single mathematics simulation and report data from prospective mathematics teachers’ interactions with a standardized student on the issue of iconic interpretation. Findings highlight teachers’ diagnostic, explanatory, mathematical, and instructional repertoires, as they guide a standardized student through two different graphing problems. Implications focus on the trends in teachers’ instructional decisions, contextualized explanations, and the use of clinical simulations to enhance mathematics teacher development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-601
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Mathematics Teacher Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Clinical simulation
  • Iconic interpretation
  • Mathematics teacher education
  • Teacher development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)

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