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Erica Litke – Math Education Seminar (Mar 29)

Exploring a Content-Focused Approach to Describing and Improving Instructional Quality in Mathematics

Erica Litke, University of Delaware

  • Friday, March 29
  • 4:30-5:30 SAEC 1151

Research examining teaching quality in mathematics has evolved from a focus on general pedagogical aspects to one that considers mathematics-specific teaching practices. This research has developed our understanding of quality mathematics instruction broadly speaking and has guided improvement efforts. However, less attention has been paid to instructional practices grounded in specific mathematics content domains. I present results from research focused on describing the nature and quality of instruction in two different content contexts—9th grade algebra and 4th and 5th grade lessons on data and statistics topics. I examine the features of instruction that support students’ learning opportunities in these specific content domains. I discuss the implications of examining instruction from a content-focused perspective for understanding and measuring instructional quality and for supporting instructional improvement efforts.

Dr. Erica Litke is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Education. She received her doctorate in Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on secondary math instruction and issues of equity, particularly around instructional practice. Recent work looks at the state of algebra instruction in urban districts. Other work looks at the impact of district-level policies designed to address equity in secondary mathematics. Erica has worked at the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness on projects related to the Mathematical Quality of Instruction. Prior to getting her doctorate, Litke was a high school mathematics teacher at a public school in New York City, where she was a Math for America Master Teacher. Her research has appeared in Teachers College Record, American Journal of Education, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and American Educational Research Journal. She previously served as editor and co-chair of the Harvard Educational Review.


This event is associated with the UAMTE (Utah Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators) Annual Conference and co-sponsored by the Center for Science & Mathematics Education.