Plenary Speaker Profile (2006)
Deborah Loewenberg Ball
Dean of the School of Education, and the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Mathematics Education and Teacher Education
University of Michigan
Mapping the Domain of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching: Knowing and Using Mathematics as a Teacher

Although widespread agreement exists that content knowledge is essential for effective instruction, what is actually meant by "content knowledge" varies. Terms such as "mathematical knowledge" and "pedagogical content knowledge" are used in different ways by different people, often without anyone noticing the confusion. We suggest that efforts to design opportunities for teachers to learn mathematics are hampered by this lack of specification and discrimination, and the lack of shared definitions for terms and ideas about "content knowledge." In this session, we will explore a set of distinctions that our research group has developed to "map" the territory of "mathematical knowledge for teaching" and consider what might be involved in helping teachers learn these different domains of content knowledge.

----Deborah Loewenberg Ball and Hyman Bass

Deborah Loewenberg Ball is Dean of the School of Education, and the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of mathematics education and teacher education at the University of Michigan. Her work as a researcher and teacher educator is rooted in practice, drawing directly and indirectly on her experience as a classroom teacher. Ball's work focuses on studies of instruction and of the processes of learning to teach. She also investigates efforts to improve teaching through policy, reform initiatives, and teacher education. Ball's publications include articles on teacher learning and teacher education; the role of subject matter knowledge in teaching and learning to teach; endemic challenges of teaching; and the relations of policy and practice in instructional improvement.