Developing Second Grade Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Place Value
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An understanding of whole number place value is a critical component of second-grade mathematics. This understanding of place value provides the foundational concept for operations with whole numbers. The ability to understand the concept of place value and transfer that understanding to teaching addition and subtraction are often problems associated with teachers’ limited pedagogical content knowledge. Teachers must understand teaching place value does not consist of merely teaching students to name the digit in a particular location. A possible solution to the problem is to provide professional development trainings and implementation support through instructional coaching focused on the teaching of place value in a conceptual manner consistent with best pedagogical practices. Therefore, the purpose of this mixed method study is to describe the pedagogical content knowledge of second-grade teachers in order to answer the research question: What can you expect to see in the classroom teaching of place value from second-grade teachers who have attended 12 hours of professional development and have received instructional coaching? Quantitative data includes the use of the Learning Mathematics for Teaching assessment paired with participant observations, discussions, and interviews in order to gain a deeper understanding of the participants’ thinking. The participants of this study are four second-grade teachers from a rural school district outside of Houston, Texas. Each of the four participants attended 12 hours of professional development and received instructional coaching support through classroom observation with post-observation discussions, a model lesson, and instructional planning. The results of the study show that every participant implemented activities from the professional development, used questioning modeled by the presenter during the sessions, and discussed critical concepts in their classrooms. Additionally, teacher pedagogical content knowledge did improve after 12 hours of professional development and instructional coaching. However, the participants believe that further support should be given through a more detailed scope and sequence, which provides information as to when and how the new concepts and activities need to be incorporated in the classroom.
Kulhanek, Stefani Michelle (2013). Developing Second Grade Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Place Value. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from