Ilana Seidel Horn

Ilana Seidel Horn
Vanderbilt University | Vander Bilt · Department of Teaching and Learning

Ph.D. Mathematics Education

About

61
Publications
23,753
Reads
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2,111
Citations
Introduction
Ilana Seidel Horn is Professor of Mathematics Education at the Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University where she runs the Teacher Learning Laboratory. Ilana does research in teacher development and mathematics education using observational and mixed methods approaches. One current project, Project TAU, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, examining the interpretive aspects of instruction, particularly in groupwork monitoring.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Vanderbilt University
Position
  • Professor of Mathematics Education
August 2009 - January 2016
Vanderbilt University
Position
  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Education
September 2003 - June 2009
University of Washington Seattle
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
In this article we ask how concepts that organize work in two professional disciplines change during moments of consultation, which represent concerted efforts by participants to work differently now and in the future. Our analysis compares structures of talk, the adequacy of representations of practice, and epistemic and moral stances deployed whe...
Article
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The authors investigate how conversational routines, or the practices by which groups structure work-related talk, function in teacher professional communities to forge, sustain, and support learning and improvement. Audiotaped and videotaped records of teachers’ work group interactions, supplemented by interviews and material artifacts, were colle...
Article
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This article examines the social nature of teachers' conceptions by showing how teachers frame the "mismatch" of students' perceived abilities and the intended school curriculum through conversational category systems. This study compares the conversations of 2 groups of high school mathematics teachers addressing the Mismatch Problem when implemen...
Article
How do teachers account for homework-related inequalities? Our longitudinal ethnographic study reveals that, despite awareness of structural inequalities in their students’ lives, elementary- and middle-school teachers’ practices centeredcthe myth of meritocracy. They treat struggles with math homework as products of students’ and (particularly in...
Article
Education researchers have long wrestled with the interplay of oppressive structures and individual agency in reproducing, sustaining, and contesting marginalization. In this article, we suggest that Weis and Fine’s construct of critical bifocality may assist researchers in understanding and addressing marginalization in mathematics education. We c...
Article
We build on mathematicians' descriptions of their work and conceptualize mathematics as an aesthetic endeavor. Invoking the anthropological meaning of practice, we claim that mathematical aesthetic practices shape meanings of and appreciation (or distaste) for particular manifestations of mathematics. To see learners' spontaneous mathematical aesth...
Chapter
Preface Schools exert powerful forces on people's lives. As society's formal setting for learning, schools-or, more precisely, the people in authority there-certify the learning of the next generation. Contradictions between learning and the bureaucratized systems of schooling are particularly keen in mathematics classrooms, where students are cons...
Chapter
Cultural myths about mathematics as a set of known facts pose unique obstacles for inquiry instruction. What is there to discover if everything is already known? At the same time, decades of mathematics education research shows the potential for inquiry instruction to broaden participation in the discipline. Taking a classroom ecology perspective,...
Article
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Calls to increase diversity in the United States teacher workforce emphasize benefits to students without strategic con- sideration of minoritized teachers’ needs. In this ethnographic study, we investigate the affordances of a counterspace for Black women pre-service teachers in a predominantly white institu- tion to support their development as e...
Preprint
Practices like ability grouping, tracking, and standardized testing operate as status-reinforcing processes-amplifying then naturalizing unequal student outcomes. Using a longitudinal, ethnographic study following students from elementary to middle school, we examine whether math homework can operate similarly. Because of inequalities in families'...
Preprint
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The global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education across the globe, requiring a quick re-organization of instruction on a large scale. In this study, we examine how highly-committed secondary mathematics teachers in the U.S. responded as they shifted their instruction online. Building off a four-year research practice partnership, we interviewed 11...
Article
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Teacher collaboration is often assumed to support school’s ongoing improvement, but it is unclear how formal learning opportunities in teacher workgroups shape informal ones. In this mixed methods study, we examined 77 teacher collaborative meetings from 24 schools representing 116 teacher pairs. We coupled qualitative analysis of the learning oppo...
Article
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In this paper, we offer a framework for teacher monitoring routines—a consequential yet understudied aspect of instruction when teachers oversee students’ working together. Using a comparative case study design, we examine eight lessons of experienced secondary mathematics teachers, identifying common interactional routines that they take up with v...
Article
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Teachers’ decisions are often undergirded by their sense of pedagogical responsibility: whom and what they feel beholden to. However, research on teacher sensemaking has rarely examined how teachers reason about their pedagogical responsibilities. The study analysed an emotional conversation among urban mathematics teachers about what they teach ma...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Interactionist analyses of teachers' professional conversations respond to open questions about collaborative mathematics teacher learning in ways that are proximal and relevant to their lived experiences and everyday work. Drawing on situative theories of learning, we analyze partitioned conversational records for evidence of learning. Key finding...
Chapter
Mathematics teacher educators and mathematics teachers should attend to pedagogical judgment. Sharing results from several studies of secondary mathematics teachers’ workplace learning, I describe how pedagogical judgment offers a productive lens for sharpening teachers’ responses to inevitable pedagogical dilemmas. I argue that well-honed pedagogi...
Article
Background: Long-standing calls to infuse technical language in teaching—what we call the Professional Language Project—have been revived in recent years along with the core practices movement in teacher education. The Professional Language Project has been identified as a desired outcome of research and a potential benefit to teacher education. O...
Preprint
Full-text available
The article outlines a framework for studying and organizing infrastructure - social, material, and technical - to advance consequential knowledge. To demonstrate the utility of the framework, three examples of innovation in teacher education are presented that involve re-mediating infrastructure to imagine equity-oriented teacher learning. The fir...
Article
The article outlines a framework for studying and organizing infrastructure, social and material to advance consequential knowledge. To demonstrate the utility of the framework, three examples of innovation in teacher education are presented that involve re-mediating infrastructure to imagine equity-oriented teacher learning. The first case focuses...
Article
Reformers are increasingly calling for and adopting practice-based approaches to teacher preparation, with particular emphasis on identifying and centering core practices. In this article, we argue that organizing teacher education around core practices brings its own risks, including the risk of peripheralizing equity and justice. Situating our ar...
Chapter
It is widely accepted that how teachers identify with the profession influences how they think about teaching. In this chapter, we synthesize two sets of interpretive case studies to theorize the relationship between teacher identity and teacher learning. First, we examine how pre-service and novice teachers’ conceptions of a “good teacher” activat...
Conference Paper
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This analysis joins together two lines of work: mathematical problem solving and children's construction play as a resource for mathematics learning. Our study is motivated by two observations. First, play has characteristics reminiscent of professional mathematicians' practice. Second, the child-centeredness of play points to possibilities for equ...
Conference Paper
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In this symposium, we ask what mathematical engagement looks like in the context of play, focusing on contexts designed to support mathematical thinking through open-ended activity, and looking at ages that are traditionally overlooked in studies of play. We heed Dewey’s admonition to look beyond sugar-coating: we do not seek to claim that “play is...
Article
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Purpose Though test-based accountability policies seek to redress educational inequities, their underlying theories of action treat inequality as a technical problem rather than a political one: data point educators toward ameliorative actions without forcing them to confront systemic inequities that contribute to achievement disparities. To highli...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Playing and doing mathematics are often conceived of as mutually exclusive activities. One is dominated by positive affect and free choice, while the other is often perceived as highly abstract and predetermined. We wonder how children’s play can provide an entrée into mathematical thinking? In play, children ask “what if…?” as they imagine new pos...
Article
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Many school-improvement efforts include time for teacher collaboration, with the assumption that teachers’ collective work supports instructional improvement. However, not all collaboration equally supports learning that would support improvement. As a part of a 5-year study in two urban school districts, we collected video records of more than 100...
Article
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Using a learning design perspective on No Child Left Behind (NCLB), I examine how accountability policy shaped urban educators’ instructional sensemaking. Focusing on the role of policy-rooted classifications, I examine conversations from a middle school mathematics teacher team as a “best case” because they worked diligently to comply with the NCL...
Article
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The status of teaching as a profession in the United States has changed in the twenty-first century. The landmark accountability legislation No Child Left Behind has challenged efforts to professionalize teaching, pushing it further from semiprofessional status. This article examines issues of teacher certification, the role of professional organiz...
Article
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This article describes a situative approach to studying motivation to learn in social contexts. We begin by contrasting this perspective to more prevalent psychological approaches to the study of motivation, describing epistemological and methodological differences that have constrained conversation between theoretical groups. We elaborate on issue...
Chapter
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In the United States, teaching is an isolated profession. At the same time, ambitious forms of teaching have been shown to benefit from teacher collaboration. What is it about collegial conversations that supports teachers’ ongoing professional learning? In this paper, I synthesize findings from prior studies on mathematics teachers’ collaborative...
Article
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Increasingly, instructional improvement efforts include teacher communities as part of their overall strategy, yet the relationship between teachers’ talk and professional learning remains underspecified. Using a discourse perspective on learning, this paper compares opportunities to learn (OTLs) in the collaborative conversations of three mathemat...
Article
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In the accountability era, educators are pressed to use evidence-based practice. In this comparative case study, we examine the learning opportunities afforded by teachers’ data use conversations. Using situated discourse analysis, we compare two middle school mathematics teacher workgroups interpreting data from the same district assessment. Despi...
Article
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A common critique of teacher education centres on the gap between coursework and schools, with ample evidence that novice teachers seldom bring ambitious forms of instruction into classroom placements. We describe a 6-year design experiment conducted in a university teacher education program secondary mathematics methods course focused squarely on...
Article
Using insights from the learning sciences, the four papers in this symposium investigate the ways teachers' collegial talk contributes to their learning about equitable instruction. One pair of papers comes from primarily observational studies, investigating how everyday storytelling and facilitation stand to instantiate or challenge teachers' know...
Chapter
Full-text available
Alan Schoenfeld uncovered critical aspects of problem solving, identifying the way that learners use resources, heuristics, control, and beliefs to guide their activities around non-standard mathematical problems. In his groundbreaking research, he used talk-aloud protocols during problem solving sessions with undergraduates and audio recorded them...
Article
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In this article, our focus is on the methodological issues in taking a situative approach to studying the interconnected development of motivation, identity, and learning in multiple social contexts. We illustrate our description with data acquired from a cross-context, longitudinal, ethnographic study of novice teachers’ learning, motivation, and...
Article
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We present a longitudinal study of novice teachers’ appropriation, negotiation, and recontextualization of assessment tools and practices. During the four years of the study, we observed and interviewed beginning mathematics and social studies teachers, along with their colleagues, mentors, and supervisors, from their time in a graduate secondary t...
Article
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Background/Context Research shows that teachers’ understandings of students, subject, and teaching influence their classroom practice. Additionally, teachers’ colleagues have a role in shaping individuals’ approaches to teaching and their responses to reform. Focus of Study To understand how interactions with colleagues support teachers’ informal...
Article
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This analysis joins together two lines of work: research on students' mathematical identities and on curricular organization that supports equitable academic outcomes. This article conceptualizes students' sense of mathematical competence as emerging through the interaction between their extant identities and the mathematical worlds they encounter...
Article
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ABSTRACT Preservice teachers (interns) are motivated to learn and take up teaching practices that appear useful to them in becoming good teachers. In this paper, we argue that judgments about which practices to take up are made on the basis of motivational filters employed,in social contexts by interns as part of self-regulated learning. These filt...
Article
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Students' mastery of and achievement in high school mathematics is considered pivotal to their opportunities for and within postsecondary education. For this reason, many educators have attempted to implement equity-geared reforms, including detracking, that affect the organization and instruction of high school mathematics. This article describes...
Article
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To investigate teachers' everyday on-the-job learning, I used a comparative case study design and examined the work of mathematics teachers in 2 high schools. Analysis of interviews, classroom observations, and teachers' conversations high-lighted 3 key resources for learning: (a) reform artifacts oriented the teachers' atten-tion to key concepts o...
Article
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Students, especially black, Latino and Native American youth and students of low socio-economic status drop out of advanced mathematics. Teachers must coordinate their expectations, their knowledge of students and their teaching practices in order to stop struggling students from dropping out of advanced math classes.
Article
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Recent emphasis on discourse in mathematics classrooms has spurred a line of inquiry about different forms of talk in these settings. If mathematical thinking is understood to be a set of practices that includes mathematical discourse, argumentation, which has an especially important role in mathematics, requires analytic attention. In particular,...
Article
This report investigates professional knowledge and learning demands associated with high school reform initiatives, and corresponding opportunities for teacher development, emphasizing literacy and mathematics. It examines how teachers' learning in selected reform-specific areas is facilitated or impeded by internal school features and by the natu...
Article
This report, which is directed toward policymakers, educators, employers, researchers, and others interested in the school-to-work (STW) movement, synthesizes literature on the development and effectiveness of STW programs since 1993. Part I provides an overview of the STW movement and examines the effectiveness of STW efforts in terms of available...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
In this research-practice partnership, we investigate teacher learning dimensions of monitoring while addressing the urgent question of how teachers should approach this task to support equitable and productive student-to-student talk. Our overarching question is: How do experienced secondary mathematics teachers learn about groupwork monitoring? Our sub-questions are: How do experienced secondary mathematics teachers make sense of monitoring? How do representations of practice shape teachers’ sensemaking about monitoring? How does their sensemaking about monitoring change over time? How do teachers’ monitoring moves support or hinder student groups’ mathematical talk? Building off of an existing project with a professional development organization, this study centers an effective video-based feedback model to help teachers investigate their own monitoring practices. In Phase 1, we develop an efficient process for producing visualizations of monitoring, dynamic representations linking classroom video to teachers’ overall interactional patterns. In Phase 2, we partner with 12-16 experienced secondary mathematics teachers in six school-based teams over a two-year period to support their sensemaking about monitoring, both individually and in teams. We use the enhanced video feedback system to guide, document, and investigate their evolving sensemaking. In Phase 3, we use our rich corpus of classroom and teacher sensemaking data to develop individual and team learning portraits for within and cross-case analyses. At the same time, we take the corpus to investigate the conditions under which different teacher monitoring moves support or impede students’ productive math talk. The primary research products will be: an open-code tool that represents teachers’ monitoring work over a lesson, coordinated with specific teacher-group interaction; a framework for mathematics teachers’ monitoring; a theory about teachers’ learning of responsive and situated practices, of which monitoring is an example; and stronger empirical evidence to guide mathematics teachers’ monitoring practices.
Project
Project SIGMa is a research-practice partnership studying what it means to support mid-career urban mathematics teachers in improving their practice. See more at https://my.vanderbilt.edu/sigma/
Archived project
This is a completed project. We studied the development of novice teachers' identity and motivation to learn. This is longitudinal person-centered ethnography.