Preparing preservice teachers to step up to the intention of the new Australian mathematics curriculum: Can a productive disposition be reignited?

Smith, Kerry, and Klein, Mary (2010) Preparing preservice teachers to step up to the intention of the new Australian mathematics curriculum: Can a productive disposition be reignited? In: Proceedings of Australian Teacher Education Association Conference, pp. 1-6. From: ATEA 2010 Australian Teacher Education Association Conference, 4-7 July 2010, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics (ACARA, 2010) emphasises that mathematics learning must go beyond the development of mathematical knowledge to include four 'proficiency' strands of: understanding, fluency, reasoning and problem solving. These proficiency strands have been built into the curriculum in an attempt to ensure "proficiency in mathematics skills is developed and becomes increasingly sophisticated over the years of schooling" (p. 2). Hence, the teacher educator's role is to ensure preservice teachers become proficient mathematicians who can effectively communicate the 'how and why' of mathematical ideas in ways that make it easy for others to understand. However, research reveals that teachers are often unsure what thinking, reasoning and working mathematically looks like in practice. Aware of this gap in knowledge, abilities and language needed for mathematical proficiency, the first year subject, Numeracy in Education (Klein, 2009), was designed to help preservice teachers experience firsthand a pedagogical structure that would facilitate effective representation, justification and communication of mathematical ideas. This research investigated and analysed through a qualitative content data analysis preservice teachers' reflective discussion board comments to detennine the success of the subject in preparing them to step up to the demands of the new curriculum. The findings revealed that inquiry-based learning, when structured, supported personal sense-making in ways that some preservice teachers constructed new and meaningful knowledge about the 'how and why' of mathematics, or in some cases they reported that their existing understandings became more sophisticated. The comments revealed that structured inquiry and personal sense-making appeared to increase preservice teachers' feelings of competence and confidence to teach mathematics effectively. The data can inform teacher educators and researchers, policy makers and teachers in plmming for the future.

Item ID: 16992
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: Australian curriculum, productive disposition, maths education, preservice teachers
ISBN: 978-0-9752324-5-3
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 13:03
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators @ 60%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development @ 40%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 40%
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