The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), uniquely positioned as the lead organization for mathematics teacher education in the United States, puts forth these standards as a national guide for the preparation of prekindergarten through Grade 12 (Pre-K–12) teachers of mathematics.  The mission of AMTE is to promote the improvement of mathematics teacher education Pre-K–12 with stated goals focused on effective mathematics teacher education programs and effective policies and practices related to mathematics teacher education at all levels. Over the 25-year history of AMTE, the organization has produced three standards documents: Principles to Guide the Design and Implementation of Doctoral Programs in Mathematics Education (2002), designed for institutions of higher education to guide review, revision, or creation of doctoral programs in mathematics education; Standards for Elementary Mathematics Specialists (first published 2009, updated 2013), designed to define and advocate for effective preparation of mathematics specialists; and, now, the Standards for the Preparation of Teachers of Mathematics (2017), created to address issues and challenges facing teacher preparation and articulate a national and comprehensive vision for the initial preparation of teachers of mathematics in Pre-K–12.

The AMTE Board of Directors’ decision to initiate the development of standards was ignited by Dr. Nadine Bezuk of San Diego State University during her delivery of the Judith Jacobs Lecture (JJL) at the 2015 AMTE annual conference. The JJL was established in 2003 to honor Dr. Judith E. Jacobs, one of the founding members of AMTE.  Since that time a renowned mathematics educator has been selected each year to deliver the JJL at the annual conference. The focus of Dr. Bezuk’s lecture was the need for AMTE to provide leadership to the field by developing standards for preparing teachers to teach mathematics. She argued, “While there exist a number of documents that address various aspects of the initial preparation of mathematics teachers, there is no single, definitive document addressing the initial preparation of mathematics teachers more globally.” Further, she noted an absence, within the mathematics teacher education community, of a shared vision of what preparing teachers entails and a limited understanding of the degree to which any such vision may be shared with other stakeholders involved in the initial preparation of mathematics teachers. Unequivocally, the AMTE Board of Directors was challenged by the lecture to develop and disseminate national standards, and as a result, the AMTE Board of Directors made the decision to develop and disseminate Pre-K–12 standards for mathematics teacher preparation.

In March 2015, the AMTE Board of Directors established a leadership team to develop the standards. The team includes Douglas H. Clements of the University of Denver as lead developer for the early childhood grades; Nadine Bezuk as chair and lead developer for upper elementary grades; Jennifer Bay-Williams of the University of Louisville as lead developer for the middle level; and W. Gary Martin of Auburn University for high school.

The leadership team began by establishing criteria for the expertise required to write the standards. The leadership team sought, as a collective body of knowledge across the members of the writing team, expertise that included experiences in the preparation of mathematics teachers at the early childhood, upper elementary, middle school, or high school level; the teaching of mathematics methods courses; the teaching of mathematics coursework and development of mathematical knowledge for teaching; the supervision of clinical placements and field experiences; the responsibility for recruiting and retaining students in mathematics teacher education programs; pedagogy to support emergent multilingual learners; pedagogy to support special needs students; advocacy for equity in mathematics teaching and learning; and the administration of mathematics teacher education policy and change agency. With these criteria in mind, the leadership team identified and invited mathematics educators and mathematicians to serve as members of the writing team. The members of the writing team are listed in the document. The AMTE Board of Directors extends sincere appreciation and gratitude to the members of the writing team. These individuals were dedicated and committed to the significance of this work and the potential of the influence of these standards for improving mathematics teaching.

Another noteworthy aspect of the process was the attention given and time invested in a coherent and comprehensive review of drafts. In the initial planning phase, the leadership team established and implemented a review process to ensure that a broad range of stakeholders would have opportunities to provide critical feedback throughout the development stages. As such, a group of mathematics educators was identified and invited to serve on a review team to facilitate or assist in development of the document while the writing group engaged in writing and refining chapters. The AMTE Board of Directors especially thanks the review team for providing feedback on the drafts of the chapters on an ongoing basis. The following were members of the review team:

  • Robert Q. Berry, III, University of Virginia; President-elect, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Francis (Skip) Fennell, McDaniel College; Past President, Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators; Past President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; Vice Chair, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Board of Directors
  • Matt Larson, Lincoln (Nebraska) Public Schools and President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Dale Oliver, Humboldt State University (California)
  • Margaret (Peg) Smith, University of Pittsburgh

Additionally, announcements and special requests for review of the draft standards went out to AMTE members, other key stakeholders, and professional organizations representing mathematics education and the mathematical sciences. The AMTE Board of Directors sincerely appreciates all individuals who provided feedback on the draft document and professional organizations for assembling teams to provide feedback on their behalf. We received feedback from the following organizations:

  • American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC)
  • American Mathematical Society (AMS)
  • American Statistical Association (ASA)
  • Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)
  • Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)
  • Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators of Alabama (AMTEA)
  • Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM)
  • Benjamin Banneker Association (BBA)
  • Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
  • Education Development Center (EDC)
  • Hoosier Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (HAMTE)
  • Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
  • National Association of Mathematicians (NAM)
  • National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM)
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)
  • TODOS: Mathematics for All

The Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics are aspirational, advocating for practices that support candidates in becoming effective teachers of mathematics who guide student learning. These standards will guide the improvement of individual teacher preparation programs and promote national dialogue and action related to the preparation of teachers of mathematics.

Christine D. Thomas
AMTE President (2015–2017)