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Researcher-Teacher Relationships and Models for Teaching Development in Mathematics Education
In this talk I offer theoretical and analytical approaches to examining ways in which researchers and teachers can work together to create knowledge in mathematics education. I will argue that researchers and teachers are members of separate, but related, communities of practice, which create and value different types of knowledge and expertise. However, connections between communities can be established in various ways, such as through discrete boundary encounters, longer term boundary practices, or peripheral participation by members of one community in the practices of another community. I'll outline a framework for analyzing researcher-teacher relationships in the context of different models for teaching development. The framework considers how partnerships between teachers and researchers are initiated, how the participants negotiate their roles and expectations of each other, and the nature of any benefits for theory, practice, or policy development. I'll then use the framework to compare ways in which I, as a university-based researcher, worked with teachers in three different types of research or development projects. The analysis indicates that successful research collaborations are characterized by mutuality of researcher and teacher motivations, roles, and purposes, and complementarity of their expertise and knowledge. Such collaborations build two-way connections between communities through practices that support mutual engagement across the boundaries that define them. I'll also consider implications for the roles of mathematics education researchers who also work as teacher educators and professional developers.