Microteaching Lesson Study: Mentor Interaction Structure and its Relation to Elementary Preservice Mathematics Teacher Knowledge Development

Roxanne V. Molina, Florida International University

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This study investigated Microteaching Lesson Study (MLS) and three possible MLS mentor interaction structures during the debriefing sessions in relation to elementary preservice teacher development of knowledge for teaching. One hundred three elementary preservice teachers enrolled in a mathematics methods course at a southern urban university were part of the study. This included 72 participants who completed MLS across three different mentor interaction structures as part of their course requirements and 31 elementary preservice teachers who did not complete MLS as part of their methods course and served as a comparison group for a portion of the study. A sequential mixed-methods research design was used to analyze the relationship between MLS mentor interaction structure and growth in preservice teachers’ mathematics teacher knowledge. Data sources included pre and post assessments, group developed lesson plans and final reports, a feedback survey with Likert-type and open-ended questions, and transcripts of audio-recorded debriefing sessions. The pre and post assessments were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the Likert-type feedback survey questions. Group MLS lesson plans, final reports, and transcripts of debriefing sessions along with the open-ended questions from the feedback survey were coded in a three-step process as described by Miles and Huberman (1994).

In alignment with findings from M. Fernandez (2005, 2010), elementary presrvice teachers participating in MLS grew in content knowledge related to MLS topics taught by one another. Results from the analysis of pre and post content knowledge assessments revealed that participants grew in their understanding of the mathematics topics taught during MLS irrespective of their mentor interaction structure and when compared to the participants who did not complete MLS in their methods course. Findings from the analysis of lesson plans for growth in pedagogical content knowledge revealed the most growth in this area occurred for participants assigned to the interaction structure in which the MLS mentor participated in the first two debriefing sessions. Analysis of the transcripts of the discourse during the debriefing sessions and the feedback surveys support the finding that the elementary preservice teachers assigned to the interaction structure in which the MLS mentor participated in the first and second debriefing sessions benefited more from the MLS experience when compared to elementary preservice teachers assigned to the other two interaction structures (MLS mentor participated in only the first debriefing session and MLS mentor participated in only the last debriefing session).