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Teachers'Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching and School Context

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  • October 2007
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Teachers' Mathematics
Knowledge for Teaching
and School Context
A Study of California Teachers
Heather C. Hill
Harvard University
Sarah Theule Lubienski
University of Illinois at Urbana¬ĖChampaign
This article examines the relationship between the mathematical knowledge of 438 K-8 California teachers and the demographics of the schools in which they work. To measure mathematical knowledge, we used a series of multiplechoice problems meant to represent both the content teachers teach and the specialized knowledge of mathematics that teachers might possess. Teachers in schools with higher proportions of low-SES and Hispanic students performed more poorly on these measures than did teachers from other schools. Implications for policy and for further research are discussed. Keywords: teacher knowledge; student demographics

Wide academic achievement gaps exist between students of different races, ethnicities, and social classes (Braswell, Daane, & Grigg, 2003; Jencks & Phillips, 1998; Lee, 2002). As scholars have explored reasons for these achievement gaps, policy makers have designed programs meant to close them. While some programs, such as Head Start, Title I, and after-school tutoring, are designed to directly address student needs, others target school and teacher resources thought to affect student achievement. Educational Policy

Volume 21 Number 5
November 2007 747-768
© 2007 Corwin Press
10.1177/0895904807307061
http://epx.sagepub.com
hosted at
http://online.sagepub.com
747
Authors' Note: The authors would like to thank Nicholas Townsend, Patrick Callahan, Rena Dorph, and David Goldstein with the preparation of data for this article. The research reported in this article was supported in part by the National Science Foundation's Interagency Educational Research Initiative to the University of Michigan (REC-9979863), the National Science Foundation's Research on Learning and Education (REC-0207649), and by the University of California Office of...

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