University of Delaware
Analyses of eighth-grade mathematics teaching in six higher-achieving countries around the world showed a wide variety of teaching methods. Some of the differences among countries were along dimensions that we often consider critical for high-quality instruction. But the highest achieving countries shared a few features of instruction that distinguished their methods from ones commonly used in the United States. These features appear to be equally important at all levels of mathematics teaching, including teacher preparation, and identify well-defined targets for improvements in U.S. classroom practices.
James Hiebert is the Robert J. Barkley Professor of Education at the University of Delaware, where he teaches in programs of teacher preparation, professional development, and doctoral studies. His professional interests focus on mathematics teaching and learning in classrooms. He has edited books on students' mathematics learning and co-authored the books Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding and The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom. He recently served on the National Research Council committee "Mathematics Learning Study," is the director of the mathematics portion of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study, and is PI on the NSF-funded Mid-Atlantic Center for Teaching and Learning Mathematics. He received a B.A. and M.A. in mathematics, taught mathematics in high school, and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.