Theses Doctoral

Analyzing Instructional Practices within Interdisciplinary and Traditional Mathematics: A Phenomenological Study

Baptiste, Dyanne

This study highlighted factors informing instructors’ instructional beliefs and practices and the activities that help students engage in and develop a deep understanding of mathematics. The study also described instructors’ instructional activities and curricular practices when teaching mathematics and an interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates mathematics with other subjects. Through a qualitative phenomenological approach, surveys, semi-structured interviews, and analyses of instructional activities using an adapted version of the Teaching for Robust Understanding in Mathematics (or TRU Math©) framework characterized the experiences of 13 instructors, from elementary through college years, who taught mathematics as a subject and within an interdisciplinary lesson.

The study revealed several factors that informed instructors’ beliefs, practices, and activities (B, P, & A) about teaching mathematics and interdisciplinarity through descriptions and synthesis of meanings and TRU Math analyses of artifacts. Instructors felt strongly about helping students value learning, making mathematics meaningful and joyful, and saw their students as capable problem solvers. They utilized activities to illuminate thinking and understanding of mathematics and used assessments to communicate mathematics. T

he study also revealed three significant ways that instructors engaged in interdisciplinarity as seen through the practices of the Constructors, Curators, and Connectors, and referred to accordingly as the 3C’s framework. These interdisciplinary characterizations reveal instructors’ practical ways of using various approaches to practice interdisciplinarity. It also showed how frameworks like TRU Math helped assess an interdisciplinary activity’s potential to foster a deep understanding of mathematics content. The conclusions offer implications for research and practice.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics Education
Thesis Advisors
Walker, Erica
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 27, 2022