Middle school mathematics teachers' perspectives on implementing high cognitive demand tasks
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While researchers have claimed that using high cognitive demand tasks can foster students’ learning of mathematics, there is little research on teachers’ perspectives on implementing high cognitive demand tasks. In this research study, I elicited teachers’ perspectives on implementing high cognitive demand tasks and compared them to my perspective. I worked with three middle school mathematics teachers on planning and implementing high cognitive demand tasks and observed the implementation of tasks. Using the task implementation framework developed by Stein, Grover, and Henningsen (1996), I outlined factors that affected the implementation of tasks from both my perspective and the teachers’ perspectives. Factors that supported the use of high cognitive demand tasks from the teachers’ perspectives included task conditions, teachers’ instructional dispositions, and students’ learning dispositions. Factors that the teachers claimed were barriers included time, district imposed requirements and curriculum, and teachers’ instructional dispositions. From my perspective, I found time and teachers’ instructional dispositions to both positively and negatively affect the implementation of tasks.