Eva Thanheiser

Date of Award

Winter 3-9-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mathematics Education


Mathematics and Statistics

Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 197 pages)


Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary), Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Evaluation, Observation (Educational method)




The Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) is an important feature of a classroom mathematics lesson. Before teachers can strengthen the MQI of their own lessons, however, teachers must first be able to notice MQI-related features of instruction. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate intermediate grades teachers’ MQI-related noticing as they go through a ten-week research-based MQI professional development (PD) program. Specifically, this dissertation is guided by two research questions: (1) How do individual teachers’ noticing of MQI-related features of instruction shift as they go through an MQI-focused professional development program? and (2) How do teachers approach the task of noticing students’ engagement in mathematical practices?

To address the first research question, I developed a multi-level framework out of a priori noticing categories in combination with data from 73 PD teachers’ individual typed responses to two video clips of mathematics instruction, in order to characterize degrees of individual teachers’ noticing of MQI-related features of instruction. I then used a mathematized version of the framework along with non-parametric statistical analyses to explore shifts in the teachers’ noticing of MQI-related features of instruction at three different time-points throughout the PD. I also illuminated the nature of these shifts by exploring snapshots of two teachers’ MQI Noticing journeys as they progressed through the PD. To address the second research question, I used thematic analyses of transcripts of one group of five teachers’ discussions in order to identify noticing perspectives exhibited by the group as they engaged in the specific task of discussing potential instances of students’ engagement mathematical practices during the PD sessions.

The findings highlight and explicate the variation in teachers’ MQI Noticing, and it establishes that shifts in such noticing are possible as teachers progress through research-based MQI PD.

Persistent Identifier