Teaching as Learning Within a Community of Practice: Characterizing Generative Growth
Teaching as learning is a simple concept yet one that is potentially overused and little understood. Understanding teaching as learning and how it manifests itself in teachers' professional lives provides a basis for characterizing the teaching of mathematics. Drawing from our prior research and our ongoing work with teachers, we believe that the teachers whose students learn the most mathematics are those who engage in practical inquiry. We describe those teachers as engaged in "generative growth" (Franke, Carpenter, Levi & Fennema, in press; Franke, Fennema, Carpenter, Ansell & Behrend, 1998). Not only do teachers engaged in generative growth learn in the context of their classrooms, but they also create communities of learners for themselves that include their students and colleagues.1 Although we may believe that we can identify these teachers, we have yet to articulate what it looks like for generative teachers to learn in the context of their ongoing practice.