Understanding pre-service teachers' emerging practices through their analyses of a multimedia case study of practice

Joanna O Masingila, Helen M Doerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The limits inherent in field experiences and the difficulties in learning how
to use student thinking in instructional practice are significant challenges in pre-service teachers’ preparation. In this research, we have investigated how multimedia case studies of practice can support pre-service teachers in making meaning of complex classroom experiences and in developing strategies and rationales for using student thinking to guide instruction. In this paper, we present a brief review of the research on case studies to situate our particular approach that builds on the notion that a multimedia case study can be a site for investigation, analysis and reflection by pre-service teachers. We then report the results of examining the issues that one cohort of pre-service mathematics teachers (grades 7–12) identified as meaningful for them in terms of their own emerging practice and the ways in which they connected the case study teacher’s practice to their own practice. We found that the pre-service teachers were able to use their perspectives on a common practice to highlight some of the dilemmas and tensions found in teaching. In particular, these pre-service
teachers focused on the difficulties encountered when trying to use student thinking
and to follow their own mathematical goals in a lesson. They were able to frame many of the issues that they encountered in their own practice (such as checking for student understanding and the use of questioning) in terms of their analysis of the case study teachers’ practice.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-263
JournalJournal of Mathematics Teacher Education
StatePublished - Sep 2002


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