Mathematics education researchers and teachers generally agree that drawings support student learning, especially in elementary and middle school. However, drawings are not considered “mathematical;” symbols and equations are considered the main representations of mathematics. In this talk, I will argue why teachers and teacher educators should focus on using drawings as a legitimate form of mathematics. Additionally, I will also argue that a shift to using drawings entails a culture shift in how we think about and do mathematics. I will supplement the argument with a study where I describe how prospective middle school teachers learned to use drawings to “re-learn” previously learned mathematical ideas.
Key words: Teacher education, mathematics, representations, elementary and middle school
Eric Cordero-Siy, PhD in Mathematics Education, University of Georgia. Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Eric Cordero-Siy, a former high school math teacher, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia. He currently focuses on how teachers learn to lead discussions. His interest is how teachers and students learn to use mathematical representations in K-5.