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The Work of Steering Instruction Toward the Mathematical Point: A Decomposition of Teaching Practice

Despite its centrality in teaching, what it takes to identify the goals of instruction and use those goals to manage the work has yet to be articulated in ways that it can be adequately studied or taught. Using data from preservice teachers’ mathematics lessons, this study identifies and illustrates seven central tasks of “steering instruction toward the mathematical point”: attending to and managing multiple purposes, spending instructional time on mathematical work, spending instructional time on the intended mathematics, making sure students are doing the mathematical work, developing and maintaining a mathematical storyline, opening up and emphasizing key mathematical ideas, and keeping a focus on meaning. Findings can inform teacher education, research on teaching, and the design of curriculum

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