Middle level education (typically Grades 6–8) is a very important time for students when they develop intellectually, physically, and socially. The teachers of these early adolescents must understand and be able to support their mathematics and statistics learning in ways that reflect their developmental needs and interests. This chapter puts forth elaborations and examples of the standards in Chapter 2, describing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level need to develop, followed by elaborations and examples of the standards in Chapter 3, describing what middle level programs need to do to ensure the effective preparation of their candidates. The elaborations in this chapter focus on those standards having specific middle level considerations; therefore, although all the standards in Chapters 2 and 3 apply to middle level mathematics teacher candidates, not all require elaboration. Vignettes are included to highlight particular points and provide more detailed examples; use of an isolated vignette may require surrounding context to preserve the spirit intended for the use of the vignette. The expectations described in the middle level elaborations apply to all candidates who might teach mathematics to middle level learners. These candidates comprise those seeking mathematics certification at the middle level as well as those seeking certification that includes the middle level mathematics teaching, including PreK–8 teachers, Grades 7–12 mathematics teachers, K–12 special education teachers, and K–12 ESL specialists.
Having a coherent, wellarticulated mathematics curriculum across Grades PreK–12 requires middle level mathematics teachers who are knowledgeable not only about the mathematics they are teaching but also about the mathematical content that is developed prior to and following the middle level years. In the middle school years, students transition from number to number systems, experience mathematical ideas more abstractly than previously, and develop foundational ideas related to algebra and geometry that are explored further in high school, college, and careers. The middle level years should not be defined as preparing students for high school but rather defined by coherent, relevant, meaningful experiences that develop competence and confidence in every middle level learner. Thus, wellprepared teachers of mathematics at the middle level reflect the skills and dispositions outlined in the Middle Level Teacher Preparation Standards (2012) from the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), the association that collaborates with NCTM, AMTE, and CAEP in middle school teacher preparation and accreditation. Table 6.1 provides a list of the middle level elaborations of the standards articulated in Chapters 2 and 3.
Table 6.1. Elaborations of Candidate and Program Standards for Middle Level Teachers of Mathematics 

Part 1. Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions 

ML.1. Essential Understanding of Mathematics Content and Practices 
Wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level have solid and flexible knowledge of relevant mathematical concepts and procedures from the middle level curriculum, including connections to material that comes before and after middle school and the mathematical processes and practices in which their students will engage. [Elaboration of C.1.1 and C.1.2] 
Wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level understand content progressions and the ways in which students develop mathematical content over time. [Elaboration of C.1.4] 

Wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level use strategies to support a range of early adolescent learners and engage other educational professionals within their settings to support student learning. [Elaboration of C.2.1 and C.2.5] 

Wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level understand how to engage middle level learners in meaningful and interdisciplinary contexts, including the use of mathematical modeling. [Elaboration of C.2.2] 

Wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level support emerging mathematical practices of middle level learners. [Elaboration of C.3.2] 

Wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level understand the developmental needs of early adolescents and use this knowledge to create and implement culturally relevant mathematical experiences for their students. [Elaboration of C.4.3] 

Wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level are aware of structures that support and inhibit opportunities for learning in schools and systems. [Elaboration of C.4.1, C.4.4, and C.4.5] 

Part 2. Program Characteristics


ML.8. Mathematics Content Preparation for Teachers of Mathematics at the Middle Level

Effective programs preparing teachers of mathematics at the middle level include content preparation aligned with The Mathematical Education of Teachers II (MET II) (CBMS, 2012) and Statistical Education of Teachers (SET) (Franklin et al., 2015). [Elaboration of P.2.1, P.2.2 and P.2.3] 
ML.9. Pedagogical Preparation for Middle Level Teachers of Mathematics 
Effective programs preparing teachers of mathematics at the middle level include coursework focused specifically on teaching middle level mathematics, the middle level learner, and content prior to and following middle school. [Elaboration of P.3.1, P.3.2, P.3.3, and P.3.4] 
Effective programs preparing teachers of mathematics at the middle level include clinical experiences in middle schools that are exemplar sites, reflecting standards for mathematics and middle level education. [Elaboration of P.4.1] 
Part 1. Elaborations of the Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions Needed by WellPrepared Beginning Teachers of Mathematics at the Middle Level
This section provides additional detail, commentary, and examples of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions wellprepared beginning teachers of mathematics at the middle level should have, organized by the general standards described in Chapter 2.
Part 2. Elaborations of the Characteristics Needed by Effective Programs Preparing Middle level Teachers
This section provides additional details, commentary, and examples for what is needed in programs to effectively prepare their students to teach middle level mathematics, organized by the general standards described in Chapter 3. As noted in the introduction, these elaborations build on the expectations in Chapter 3, and focus on additional considerations specific to the preparation of teachers of mathematics at the middle level.
Closing Remarks
Effective teacher preparation programs at the middle level must develop candidates’ abilities to use highleverage, effective mathematics teaching practices (NCTM, 2014a) that reflect the needs of early adolescents. A priority in the preparation of middle level candidates is helping them commit to such teaching practices, even if that is not how they experienced middle level mathematics. This commitment will come to fruition only when programs provide robust experiences through courses and fieldwork that illustrate the benefits that effective mathematics instruction can have on each and every middle level learner.