The Mathematics Scan (M-Scan), a content-specific observational measure, was utilized to examine the extent to which standards-based mathematics teaching practices were present in three focal lessons. While previous studies have provided evidence of validity of the inferences drawn from M-Scan data, no prior work has investigated the affordances and limitations of the M-Scan in capturing standards-based mathematics teaching. We organize the affordances and limitations into three categories: the operationalization of the M-Scan, the organization of the M-Scan, and the M-Scan within the larger ecology of instruction. Our analysis indicates the M-Scan differentiates among lessons in their use of standards-based mathematics teaching practices by operationalizing the M-Scan dimensions at the lesson level, sometimes at the expense of capturing the peaks and valleys within a single lesson. Simultaneously, the analysis revealed how the application of the rubrics may be impacted by lesson transcripts. We discuss the theoretical organization of the M-Scan and its implications for researchers and practitioners applying the rubrics. Finally, we point to the affordances and limitations of the M-Scan within the larger ecology of instruction by considering curricular issues and two dimensions of instruction not highlighted by the M-Scan.
ZDM – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2018