A Call to Action

Finally, improvement of mathematics teacher preparation programs must be seen within the context of the broad system in which the preparation of teachers of mathematics occurs; this system includes multiple constituencies, stakeholders, and organizations that influence teacher preparation. The challenges facing the preparation of teachers of mathematics are interconnected, and progress can be made only by addressing multiple audiences across the system. Several priority actions needed to begin to enact the vision of this document follow:

Action #1. Mathematics and statistics teacher educators must collaborate with mathematicians and statisticians to enact the vision for the content preparation of beginning teachers presented in these standards, building on related documents offered by other professional organizations (e.g., CBMS, 2012; Franklin et al., 2016; Tucker et al., 2015).

Action #2. Programs preparing beginning teachers of mathematics and Pre-K–12 schools and districts must develop close, respectful, bidirectional relationships that support the preparation of the next generation of teachers of mathematics, ensuring that school partners are included in the decision making about the preparation of beginning teachers.

Action #3. Mathematics educators and researchers must make these standards a focal point for research that will guide the improvement of mathematics teacher preparation.  By identifying research questions and carrying out studies to support the development of mathematics teacher preparation programs, the research community will provide compelling ideas and evidence to ensure that program graduates are well-prepared beginning teachers of mathematics.

Action #4. Faculty in programs preparing teachers of mathematics must build collaborations with faculty in other programs preparing teachers of mathematics. Learning from and with colleagues from other institutions and providers can accelerate progress in their improvement efforts, with faculty benefitting from experiences and results of each site. The networked improvement community model proposed by Bryk, Gomez, Grunow, and LeMahieu (2015) may be particularly useful in building knowledge across programs (cf. Martin, W. G., & Gobstein, 2015).

Action #5. Higher education administrators overseeing programs that prepare teachers of mathematics must ensure that commitment and focus is placed on those programs, including allocating qualified personnel and resources needed to achieve the vision of this document. A program that does not make clear and strong commitments to ensuring that its candidates are well-prepared as described in this volume is not justifiable. Mediocrity cannot be an option.

Action #6. The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators put forth this document to guide the improvement of mathematics teacher preparation. Accordingly this document must become a focal point for the continuing work of AMTE, including serving as an organizing theme of future conferences and publications. Committees and other working groups of the organization need to consider how their activities fit with the recommendations of this document.

Action #7. AMTE must work to engage other organizations with related missions in dialogue around how the standards can inform the preparation of teachers of mathematics. These organizations include other mathematics education organizations, mathematics teacher organizations with a primary focus on equity, mathematics organizations, organizations related to teaching learners of specific ages or other populations, and teacher education organizations. Finally, this document should serve as a primary resource for those involved in decisions regarding policies and accreditation standards for preparing teachers of mathematics.