Prospective elementary school teachers' professional noticing of children's early numeracy

Edna O. Schack, Molly H. Fisher, Jonathan N. Thomas, Sara Eisenhardt, Janet Tassell, Margaret Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The goal of this study is to develop the professional noticing abilities of prospective elementary school teachers in the context of the Stages of Early Arithmetic Learning. In their mathematics methods course, ninety-four prospective elementary school teachers from three institutions participated in a researcher-developed five-session module that progressively nests the three interrelated components of professional noticing-attending, interpreting, and deciding. The module embeds video excerpts of diagnostic interviews of children doing mathematics (representations of practice) to prepare the prospective teachers for similar work. The module culminates with prospective teachers implementing similar diagnostic interviews (approximations of practice) to gain experience in the three component skills of professional noticing. A pre- and post-assessment was administered to measure prospective teachers' change in the three components. A Wilcoxon signed ranks test was conducted and found the prospective elementary school teachers demonstrated significant growth in all three components. Selected prospective elementary school teacher responses on the pre- and post-assessment are provided to illustrate sample growth in the prospective teachers' abilities to professionally notice. These results, the first in an ongoing study, indicate the potential that prospective teachers can develop professional noticing skills through this module. Continued data collection and analysis from the ongoing study by these authors and future, longer-term emphasis on professional noticing for prospective teachers should be studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-397
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Mathematics Teacher Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Research Funded by the National Science Foundation: Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) Collaborative Awards 1043667, 1043656, 1043831. The authors wish to thank Dr. Lenore Kinne, Northern Kentucky University, for her ongoing advice as evaluator of this project.


  • Elementary school education
  • Learning progressions
  • Number concepts and operations
  • Pedagogies of practice
  • Teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Prospective elementary school teachers' professional noticing of children's early numeracy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this