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Teacher Professional Development

We plan to use this site to disseminate our findings as they emerge to both preservice and practicing teachers. Current preservice mathematics methods courses and postservice professional development courses give little or no attention to teachers’ gestures, and our research suggests that this gap should be rectified. We envision a professional development module for preservice teachers that includes: (1) summaries of research findings, (2) video examples of teachers’ use of gesture, (3) activities in which student teachers observe classroom video for opportunities to link representations and effective use of gestures, and (4) discussion of the video cases. The goals of the module will be to inform student teachers about scientifically validated ways of using gestures effectively, and to help them become aware of their own use of gestures in instruction. For the benefit of practicing teachers, we will adapt the module for use in an ongoing professional development course for middle school mathematics teachers.