Friday, May 20, 2011

Blog Series: Research You Should Know (#rysk)

Now that I've finished my first year as a PhD student, I'd like to establish a series of posts informing readers about the outcomes and importance of published math education research. When I was a teacher, I quickly realized that if you aren't at a university with a multi-million dollar budget for research access, you can spend a lot of time searching for research on the internet and running into paywalls. Furthermore, a lot of research isn't written with teachers as the intended audience. In many cases I question that practice, but what it means is there's a need for people to "translate" and summarize relevant research. I hope to be one of those people.

I'm calling this series "Research You Should Know" (RYSK) and I'll be using the hashtag #rysk on Twitter. Throughout the summer I hope to be posting at least weekly. I'm part of a small math ed reading group here at CU-Boulder where we are reading NCTM's "Classics in Mathematics Education Research." While I wish all education research was open access (or I could scan articles and post PDFs without breaking copyright), the Classics isn't very expensive if you wish to buy it and read the articles for yourself. The Classics will be an interesting place to start; the articles contained within were chosen to demonstrate the transitions from and tensions between various theories of learning. If you choose to follow along, I hope to give you a decent understanding of where math education research has been in the past 40 or so years. Of course, as other relevant research comes across my desk, I'll attempt to summarize it, too. After all, this will help me as much as any potential readers - summarizing research should be an excellent way for me to prepare for my comprehensive exam!