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Exploring Teachers Views of Mathematics Pedagogy

Exploring Teachers Views of Mathematics Pedagogy

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Exploring Teachers Views of Mathematics Pedagogy

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  1. Exploring Teachers Views of Mathematics Pedagogy Liz Dunphy St Patrick’s College, Ireland

  2. The context • Children • Teachers • Schools • Pedagogy • Curriculum

  3. Research design • Review of pedagogical guidance for early childhood teachers in area of mathematics • Focus on areas of research interest: attitudes; teaching intentions; perceived challenges • Design/pilot/deveopment of questionnaire Likert scales Open–ended questions.

  4. Research questions • What are JI teachers’ views in relation to the value of particular pedagogical practices in early childhood mathematics education? • Do JI teachers generally appear to hold attitudes to teaching mathematics that are consistent with what we know about young children’s unique styles of learning?

  5. The questionnaire • Section 1: Biographical • Section 2: Attitudes • Section 3: Reported practices (intentions) • Section 4: Challenges • Section 5: Open questions on goals, aspect of mathematics to be developed, main factors influencing organisation and development of teaching, place of workbook or worksheets.

  6. Participants • National random sample of schools (346) • 460 questionnaires (max) • Recruited participants 266 • Response rate min 56% max 77%

  7. Teacher/school profile • Female (94%), half with < 10 years total teaching experience • Range of experience teaching infants 45% < 5 yrs, 67% < 8 years • Range of class sizes 15% < 15, 30% >16 but < 22, 55% >23 • Range of systems of school organisation consecutive class(20%), multi-class (27%) and single class (53%) • ‘Disadvantaged’ status (22%)

  8. Findings: Strategies that engage children • High levels of agreement about some key strategies (2, 3, 4, 15, 6, 17) • Teachers’ opinions divided about some (7, 20, 14, 10) • Disparate views regarding some (11)

  9. Findings: Strategies that focus on language and discussion • Considerable agreement about the role of talk and discussion (4, 5, 19, 21, 8) • Almost half of teachers do not believe that justification and argumentation is important at JI level (18) • About one-fifth of teachers uncertain about the value of some approaches (12, 23, 13) i.e. about the interface between children’s own methods of recording and the use of conventional written symbols

  10. Findings: Strategies that promote conceptual development • Almost all teachers in agreement with the need for children to investigate everyday problems and to present solutions (9) • There is less agreement (two-thirds) regarding the importance of open-ended activity (16).

  11. Conclusions • In general, JI teachers hold views consistent with many recommendations regarding desirable pedagogical practices • Some teachers (about a quarter) express uncertainty about a number of issues • Control an issue for some (a minority?) of teachers…dominating, domineering role (Ginsburg et al., 2005) • Clear indicators for teacher development

  12. Implications for working on pedagogy with JI teachers • Interrogate terms e.g. informal, open-ended • Analyse processes e.g. discussion • Explore literature e.g. everyday experiences • Investigate the potential of open-ended activities • Consider children’s methods of recording and how their status in relation to conventional methods