NOMAD 14(3), 2009. Practical activities in mathematics teaching

Skapad: 2009-11-24. Ändrad: 2009-11-24  

NOMAD 14(3), 2009. Practical activities in mathematics teaching

Practical activities in mathematics teaching – mathematics teachers’ knowledge based reasons

FRODE OLAV HAARA and KARI SMITH

Abstract

The current article assumes that mathematics teachers’ understanding of mathematics and professional beliefs are integrated into their professional knowledge. The focus of the article is on teachers’ knowledge based explanations and reasons for choosing practical activities in the teaching of mathematics. Based on interviews of eight mathematics teachers in Norwegian elementary school (where the pupils are 6 to 16 years old), the article analyses and discusses relations between mathematics teachers’ professional knowledge and choice of using practical activities. The findings give grounds for suggesting that both disciplinary and didactical knowledge have an impact on teachers’ choice, and that inexperienced teachers do not have clear knowledge based explanations or reasons for using practical activities at the level of experienced teachers. However, the inexperienced, yet acknowledged teacher will, regardless of high or minimal disciplinary knowledge in mathematics, develop a more thorough and clear opinion on about practical activities as the pedagogical content knowledge deepens through experience.

Sammendrag

I artikkelen antas det at matematikklæreres forståelse av matematikk og deres profesjonelle oppfatninger er integrert i deres profesjonelle kunnskap. Fokuset i artikkelen er på læreres kunnskapsbaserte forklaringer og grunner for å velge praktiske aktiviteter i matematikkundervisning. Basert på intervjuer med åtte matematikklærere i norsk grunnskole (hvor elevene er 6 til 16 år gamle), analyserer og diskuterer artikkelen sammen­henger mellom matematikklæreres profesjonelle kunnskap og valg av praktiske aktiviteter. Resultatene antyder at både faglig og didaktisk kunnskap påvirker lærerens valg, og at uerfarne lærere ikke har like tydelige kunnskapsbaserte forklaringer eller grunner for å bruke praktiske aktiviteter som erfarne lærere har. På den annen side vil den uerfarne men anerkjente lærer, uavhengig av faglig kunnskapsnivå i matematikk utvikle en grundigere og tydeligere mening om praktiske aktiviteter etter som den pedagogiske fagkompetansen utvikler seg gjennom økt erfaring.

FRODE OLAV HAARA
Frode Olav Haara is lecturer in mathematics education at the Faculty of teacher education and sports, Sogn & Fjordane University College, Norway. Haara’s research interests are on practical activities in mathematics, mental calculations and choice of method for calculation, and the relationship between mathematics and society.

KARI SMITH
Kari Smith is professor of education at the Faculty of psychology, University of Bergen, Norway. Smith’s main research interests lie in teacher education, professional development and assessment.