Mathematics Discourse in Secondary Classrooms, A Practice-Based Resource for Professional Learning


Built from research-based frameworks, this powerful professional learning program provides groups of participants with opportunities to grapple with important ideas about mathematics discourse in an effort to support every student to engage in richer, deeper discourse that positively impacts their learning of mathematics and their identities as mathematics learners.

Organized for both novice and experienced professional learning facilitators, the program features the following components:


Facilitator’s Guide

This more than 500–page Facilitator’s Guide offers seven professional learning modules, called Constellations. Each is organized as a set of case-based, practice-based activities providing 30 to 40 hours of experiences.


Participant Guides

Each Constellation offers a participant guide in a downloadable, full-color PDF format.


Video and Audio Clips

The resource contains five video clips and one audio clip as part of the narrative cases. All clips are accessible online or via the QR codes in the Facilitator’s Guide.

PowerPoint Slides

A downloadable PowerPoint presentation further helps with facilitating the modules.

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Author Bio

Beth Herbel-Eisenmann is a professor of mathematics education at Michigan State University. A former junior high mathematics teacher, Herbel-Eisenmann has had multiple long-term partnerships with secondary mathematics teachers. She is the co-editor of Promoting Purposeful Discourse: Teacher Research in Mathematics Classrooms and is especially interested in issues of equity concerning authority, positioning, and voice in mathematics classrooms and professional development.


Michelle Cirillo is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Delaware. She received her PhD from Iowa State University in 2008 after working as a high school mathematics teacher in New York for eight years. Cirillo’s primary research interests include the teaching of disciplinary practices (e.g., mathematical proof and modeling), classroom discourse, and teachers’ use of curriculum materials. She is especially interested in the space where these three areas intersect.


Michael D. Steele is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A former middle and high school mathematics and science teacher, Steele’s research focuses on supporting secondary math teachers in developing mathematical knowledge for teaching and integrating content and pedagogy through teacher preparation and professional development.


Samuel Otten is an assistant professor of mathematics education and the Lois Knowles Faculty Fellow at the University of Missouri. Otten earned degrees in mathematics and mathematics education from Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University. His research centers on secondary students’ participation in mathematics discourse and their engagement in mathematical practices such as reasoning and attending to precision. He also studies the effectiveness of flipped instruction and is the host of the Math Ed Podcast.


Kate R. Johnson is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics Education at Brigham Young University. She was a high school mathematics teacher at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and received her doctoral degree in teacher education from Michigan State University in 2013. Johnson’s research interests are in the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers with particular attention to their racial and religious identities as well as their identities as mathematics teachers. She promotes mathematics classrooms wherein students actively pursue a more socially just society.


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