Rachael Eriksen Brown

Assistant Professor of Math Education, Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Office Phone: 215-881-7802
Office Location: Cloverly, 207

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Bio

Educational Background
University of Georgia, Athens, GA                        
Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education, August 2009
Dissertation: Community Building in Mathematics Professional Development

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY                        
Masters of Science in the Natural Sciences, August 2003

Siena College, Loudonville, NY                                        
Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, May 2000

Research Interests
I am interested in studying mathematics teacher community development and teacher learning/professional development, particularly around proportional reasoning.  Currently I am working with a research team out of UMASS Dartmouth investigating mathematical knowledge for teaching proportional reasoning from the perspective of coherent understanding. I am also working with a science teacher colleague in Ohio on exploring how and what secondary, beginning, mathematics teachers notice when they write about their own classrooms in what we call a “teaching replay”.  In my dissertation research, I investigated community building in a mathematics professional development course for middle school teachers focused on rational numbers.

Selected Publications

Brown, R. E., Nagar, G. G., Orrill, C. H., Weiland, T., & Burke, J. (2016). Coherency of a teacher’s proportional reasoning knowledge in and out of the classroom. In M. B. Wood, E. E. Turner, M. Civil, & J. A. Eli (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 450-457). Tucson, AZ. 

Nagar, G. G., Weiland, T., Brown, R. E., Orrill, C. H., & Burke, J. (2016). Appropriateness of proportional reasoning: Teachers’ knowledge used to identify proportional situations. In M. B. Wood, E. E. Turner, M. Civil, & J. A. Eli (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 474-481). Tucson, AZ.

Nagar, G. G., Brown, R. E., Orrill, C. H., Weiland, T., & Burke, J. P. (2016). Teacher knowledge: A case study of proportional reasoning in and out of the classroom. In E. Naftaliev, & N. Adin (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th annual meeting of the Jerusalem Conference on Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 63-65). Jerusalem, Israel.

Brown, R.E., Vissa, J. M., Mossgrove, J.L. (2012). The importance of collaboration to new teacher development: Two central features of an induction fellowship. 2012 NCTM Yearbook, Professional Collaborations in Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Seeking Success for All.

Orrill, C. H., & Brown, R. E. (2012). Making sense of double number lines in professional development: Exploring teachers’ understanding of proportional relationships. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 15(5), 381-403.

Orrill, C. H., Brown, R. E., Li, F., & Geisler, S. K. (2012). Questioning teacher goals in professional development: Shaping satisfaction perceptions, and performance. In B. Boufoy-Bastick (Ed.), Cultures of professional development for teaching: Collaboration, reflection, management and policy (pp. 573-600). Strasbourg, France: Analytrics.

Lee, S., Brown, R. E., & Orrill, C. H. (2011). Mathematics teachers’ reasoning about fractions and decimals using drawn representations. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 13(3), 198-220.

Selected Publications
Bogiages, C., Brown, R.E., Lin, J. (April, 2015). Professional Development through STEM Integration: How early career math and science teachers respond to experiencing integrated STEM tasks. Paper presentation at the 2015 National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual International Conference: Chicago, IL.

Masloski, K. & Brown, R.E. (April, 2014). Pilot study of the use of teaching replays as a professional development tool. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association: Philadelphia, PA.

Brown, R.E. & Mossgrove, J. L. (April, 2013). Using high-cognitive-demand tasks to explore reasoning and proof. Presentation at the 2013 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

Brown, R. E. (January, 2013). Community development in mathematics professional development. Brief Report at the 2013 Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.

Rhodes, G.R. & Brown, R. E. (October, 2011). Supporting beginning teachers through an online discussion board. Presentation at the 2011 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Meeting, St. Louis, MO.

Vissa, J. M., Mossgrove, J. L., & Brown, R. E. (October, 2011). KSTF Portfolios: One model for self-selected teacher inquiry. Presentation at the 2011 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Meeting, St. Louis, MO.

Brown, R. E., Chapman, M. A., & Orrill, C. H. (April, 2011). Turning the lens: Complementary perspectives from a professional development workshop. Presentation at the 2011 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Brown, R. E., Vissa, J. M., & Mossgrove, J. L. (January, 2011). Examining choices of the mathematics educator functioning as “expert other”. Presentation at the 2011 Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Annual Conference, Irvine, CA.

Caglayan, G., Orrill, C. H., & Brown, R. E. (October, 2010). In-service middle grades teachers’ use of double number lines to model word problems. Paper presented at 32nd annual meeting of the North American chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Columbus, OH.

Schultz, K. T., & Brown, R. E. (October, 2010). Making sense of fraction division representations used by preservice and in-service mathematics teachers. Session presented at National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conferences 2010: Baltimore, MD.

Teaching Philosophy
My teaching philosophy is shaped by my experiences as a learner and teacher. There are four interrelated elements of my teaching philosophy for teacher education: mathematics content, communication, community, and equity.

Content. I have used tasks, video, written cases, research, standards,textbooks, writing assignments, and samples of student work to engage prospective and inservice teachers in examining the mathematics that they teach. When we discuss the mathematics, we also examine alternate ways for teachers to address the concept at hand. By watching videos and reading about teacher actions and examining student work, we learn about common misconceptions and learn to predict possible student outcomes for various lessons. Providing time for students to engage personally in the mathematics is essential.

Communication. Activities such as writing a mathematics teaching philosophy, explaining why a mathematics lesson was designed in a certain way, or crafting a classroom vignette to reveal a challenge you are facing are valuable experiences. Reflecting on the communication in class about a task everyone has engaged in is important as well. In addition, talking explicitly about my decisions as the instructor or the decisions we observe in video of ourselves teaching and video/written cases allow us all to think about how to foster mathematical communication in our classrooms.

Community. An environment that is supportive of mathematical thinking and analysis is important to the learning process. In addition, the ways in which a group will interact and expect of others in the group, the norms of the group, need to be negotiated and made explicit. Prospective and beginning teachers need a place where they can talk about professional issues related to teaching mathematics as well. Teachers need to learn about resources to know where to turn to for help and guidance when they are no longer intimately connected to a college community. Additionally, teachers need to have their ideas challenged and need to challenge others’ ideas in order to strengthen their own understanding of their beliefs and knowledge of mathematics. Developing a community is important for these activities.

Equity. Teachers need opportunities to reflect on beliefs they have about mathematics, learning, and how these relate to what they believe about various people, particularly those who are different from them with respect to race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, or other traits. This is essential to the success of all students in mathematics.

Courses Taught

MTHED420, MATH200, MATH4, MATH35