Discussion group 7:
Dilemmas and controversies in the education of mathematics teachers
Víctor L. Treviño Auditorium - Law
Rooms E201, E202 and E203

How can we attain an appropriate balance and connection between main
components of teacher education, e.g. mathematical, educational, and
didactical components – for different educational levels? What kind and
what level of mathematical knowledge do teachers need and how could it be
fostered in educational activities? Seeing the development of teacher
knowledge as a lifelong process, how can this process be initiated in
pre-service teacher education programs, and what ways of promoting
in-service mathematics teachers’ professional development are
effective? To what extent should teacher education be research or
experience based, and what do we mean by that, e.g. when relating
teaching practice and theoretical courses? What roles do teacher
preparation programs play in relation to tradition and renewal within
mathematics education?

  • Christer Bergsten (Sweden)
    Linköping University,
    Department of Mathematics
    SE 58183 Linköping, Sweden
    chber@mai.liu.se
  • Tenoch Cedillo (Mexico)
    Universidad Pedagógica Nacional
    Department of Teaching and Learning of Mathematics and Science
    Mexico City, Mexico
    tcedillo@upn.mx and tcedillo2003@yahoo.com
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Team members:
  • Alena Hospesova (Czech Republic)
    University of South Bohemia
    Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
    hospes@pf.jcu.cz
  • Yang Yu Dong (China)
    Shanghai Academy of Educational Sciences
    Shanghai, China
    mathedu@163.com
  • Sharon Senk (USA)
    Michigan state University
    East Lansing, USA
    senk@math.msu.edu
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Aims and focus

In mathematics education the critical role of the teacher is becoming increasingly recognized and has attained much research interest. This has put high demands on the institutions that organize the formal preparation and the professional development of mathematics teachers. Research has pointed to the complexity of this enterprise and a number of dilemmas and controversies involved. The aim of the discussion group is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to further investigate into these issues.
The following general questions were initially set up by the OT to structure the work in the discussion group:

  1. Organization: How can we attain an appropriate balance and connection between main components of teacher education, e.g. mathematical, educational, and didactical components for different educational levels?
  2. Mathematical knowledge: What kind and what level of mathematical knowledge do teachers need and how could it be fostered in educational activities?
  3. Professional development: Seeing the development of teacher knowledge as a lifelong process, how can this process be initiated in pre-service teacher education programs, and what ways of promoting in-service mathematics teachers’ professional development are effective?
  4. Theory and practice: To what extent should teacher education be research or experience based, and what do we mean by that, e.g. when relating teaching practice and theoretical courses?
  5. Policy issues: What roles do teacher preparation programs play in relation to tradition and renewal within mathematics education?

With those critical issues as a background the organizing team invited experts in the field to write position papers and announced a call for papers by prospective participants in the discussion group. Authors were also invited to set up specific questions for discussion raised by their paper. Contributions from both researchers and practitioners were foreseen and submissions from all countries with different economic contexts and cultural backgrounds were encouraged. Colleagues wishing to participate in the discussion group were encouraged to e-mail potential areas of discussion to the group co-chairs for inclusion in the draft program even if not supported by a discussion paper.
The papers were reviewed in a two-step procedure, based first on abstracts and then on the full papers. Thirteen submitted papers were accepted and made available on the DG7 web page at dg.icme11.org prior to the congress.

The following agenda for the work during the three scheduled sessions was designed by the OT. Based on the accepted and invited papers more detailed focus questions will be added for the discussion in the different subgroups.

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Schedule for the sessions

Session 1

Plenary session, after 45 minutes splitting into subgroups.

a) Welcome and introduction by the organizing team, followed by panel presentations in order to set up the agenda and stimulate the discussions in the group (45 minutes):

Christer Bergsten: The didactic divide in initial teacher training: Can it be avoided?

Abstract

Ruhama Even: Educating practicing mathematics teachers: What is missing in the literature?

Abstract | Full document

Konrad Krainer: What do we know about the sustainability of professional developmental programmes?

Abstract

b) Split into subgroups, led by OT members/authors of papers, with focus questions organised by the submitted and invited papers. (75 minutes)

Session 2

Subgroups session: Continued discussion. (120 minutes)

Session 3

Plenary session: Main outcome from groups reported and discussed.
Concluding discussion on the main topics raised for the discussion group. (60 minutes)

Accepted submitted papers:

Hatice Akkoç, Fatih Ozmantar, Erhan Bingolbali (Turkey) – Exploring the technological pedagogical content knowledge

Elisabeth Belfort, Luiz Carlos Guimaraes (Brazil) – Pró-letramento matemathics: Improving mathematical knowledge and practices of primary teachers in Brazil

Ana Paula Canavarro, Isabel Rocha (Portugal) – Professional development of mathematics teachers: Challenges from a national in-service teacher education program in Portugal

Tony Gardiner (UK) – The key component?

Sebastian Kuntze (Germany), Frank Lipowsky (Germany), Kathrin Krammer (Switzerland), Kristina Reiss (Germany) – What is “best practice” for video-based in-service teacher trainings? Views and experiences of secondary mathematics teachers and findings from evaluation research.

Hea-Jin Lee (USA) – Developing professional knowledge, implementing professional learning, and sustaining professional growth

Ana Lúcia Manrique (Brazil) – Changes in expectations of students doing a mathematics teacher training program about the teaching profession

William McCallum (USA) – Seeing the mathematical knowledge of teachers: A mathematician’s perspective

Bernard Murphy (UK) – The ‘Teaching Advanced Mathematics’ programme of professional development

Ana Maria Redolfi Gandulfo (Brazil) – The education of mathematics teachers and a learning environment

Allan Tarp (Denmark) – Concealing choices to teachers

Jian Wang (USA) – Chinese elementary teachers’ understanding and representation of mathematics concepts in classroom: Relationship between pedagogical content knowledge, instructional practice, and mandated curriculum materials

Fan Zhongxiong (China) – The development of mathematics higher education for Tibetan learners in China

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