Research Projects

NSF Career: Learning to Learn from Mathematics
Teaching (2010-2016)

PI: Rossella Santagata

While the development of teachers who are reflective and are
capable of analyzing and learning from teaching is a goal that most teacher
education scholars support (Hammerness, et al, 2005), teacher reflection is
often conceptualized in rather vague terms (Zeichner, 1994), and is limited to
unstructured and often unproductive fieldwork-based reflections
(Darling-Hammond, 2005; Feiman-Nemser & Buchmann, 1985; Munby, Russell,
& Martin, 2001). In this project I argue that teachers should be able to routinely
analyze teaching and generate knowledge that leads to improvement. In other
words, I propose that deliberate and systematic analysis of teaching should be
part of teachers’ repertoire of practices and the development of analysis
skills should be central to teacher preparation (Santagata & van Es, under
review). It is impossible to teach pre-service teachers everything they need to
know about teaching, but it is possible to “prepare prospective teachers
to learn from teaching when they enter the profession” (Hiebert et al.,
2007, p.48).

This project is innovative in that it (1) proposes a
research-based observation and analysis framework and specific sub-skills that
pre-service teachers need in order to learn from teaching in a disciplined and
systematic manner; (2) takes advantage of new technologies, particularly of
digital video, to ground discussions and reflections on concrete and shared
images of teaching; and (3) unlike most research on teacher learning (Wilson,
Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2002), it adopts a multi-method approach to the
study of teacher learning that combines an experiment with qualitative analyses
and case studies of participants’ learning experiences.

Teacher Learning from Video

The Learning to Learn from Teaching project  draws on previous research Dr. Santagata has conducted on the use of video as a tool for teacher learning.

Video allows teachers to slow down the teaching process, identify
problems of practice, and study possible solutions. Several groups around the
world have experimented with video-based lesson analysis as an approach to
improve teacher knowledge and practice.

Despite growing interest in video-based teacher learning programs,
empirical evidence on their effects on teacher knowledge and practice is still
limited. In response to this gap, we investigate the processes in which
teachers engage while watching videotaped lessons; we also develop measures to
assess teacher learning.

Studies Dr. Santagata and colleagues have conducted involved both pre-service and in-service teachers in the United States and Italy.  For more information see publication list. If you have troubles locating a manuscript, please send an email to