Collaborative Research: Attaining Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Clinical Experiences with a Lens on Equity

This project is led by members of the Clinical Experiences Research Action Cluster (CERAC) of the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership. The CERAC is a consortium of 27 universities and their school partners engaged in developing clinical experience models designed to build candidates’ facility with the Mathematics Teaching Practices (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2014) and other equitable teaching strategies to promote secondary school students’ success in achieving college- and career-ready standards. The members of the project are designing and studying mechanisms to aid in the implementation of the following alternative clinical experience models:

  • The paired placement model, in which two prospective teachers are paired with a single mentor teacher, allowing the mentor teacher to provide purposeful coaching and mentoring and the two teacher candidates offer each other feedback, mentoring, and support (Leatham & Peterson, 2010); and
  • Co-planning and co-teaching model, which has been found to help teacher candidates gain greater pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge of students through collaboration and communication between teacher candidates and mentor teachers who plan, implement, and assess instruction together (Bacharach, Heck, & Dahlberg, 2010); and
  • Methods courses in which mentor teachers and teacher candidates experience common learning opportunities.

The CERAC is answering the following research question: How does a continuum of collaborative and student-focused clinical experiences, including co-planning/co-teaching and paired placement fieldwork models, impact pre-service teachers’ equitable implementation of the Mathematics Teaching Practices (NCTM, 2014) across institutional contexts?


The collaborative project is funding by the National Science Foundation Directorate for Education & Human Resources Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Development & Implement, I & II: Engage Student Learning Grant ID#s: 1726998, 1726362, & 1726853 – August 2017 – July 2021, $1.6 million (Auburn University, $560,586). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Project Personnel

  • Auburn University
    • Marilyn Strutchens, Auburn University, PI
    • John Sutton, ResultED, Evaluator
    • Jeremy Zelkowski, University of Alabama, Consultant
  • APLU
    • Howard Gobstein, APLU, PI
    • W. Gary Martin, Auburn University, Consultant
    • Nathalie Dwyer, APLU, Administrative Assistant
  • Other Partnership Teams
    • University of South Florida, Ruthmae Sears, PI