This paper discusses Sfard’s commognitive approach and provides an empirical study as an example to illustrate the theory as method. Traditionally, research in mathematics education focused on the acquisition of mathematical knowledge and the didactic process of knowledge transfer. Through attending to a distinctive form of language in mathematics, as well as mathematics as a discursive subject, alternative views of making meaning in mathematics have emerged; these views are therefore “critical,” as in critical discourse analysis. The commognitive discourse analysis method has the potential to bring more clarity to our understanding of students’ mathematical thinking and the process through which students are socialized into school mathematics.
Many African countries, such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, have curricula reform agendas that include incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science (NOS) into school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is argued that at high school level, STEM learning, which incorporates understandings of indigenization science and NOS, has the potential to provide a strong foundation for a culturally embedded scientific knowledge essential for their advancement in Science and Technology. Globally, investment in STEM education is recognized as essential for economic development. For this reason, developing countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa have been investing into training specialized teachers in natural sciences and technology. However, in many cases this training has been detached from the cultural realities and contexts of indigenous learners. For this reason, the STEM curricula reform has provided implementation challenges to teachers. An issue of major concern is the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is essential for effective implementation of these STEM curricula. Well-developed Teacher PCK include an understanding of both the nature of indigenous knowledge (NOIK) and of NOS. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the development of 3 South African and 3 Zimbabwean in-service teachers’ abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK as part of their PCK. A participatory action research design was utilized. The main focus was on capturing, determining and developing teachers STEM knowledge for integrating NOIK and NOS in science classrooms. Their use of indigenous games was used to determine how their subject knowledge for STEM and pedagogical abilities could be developed. Qualitative data were gathered through the use dialogues between the researchers and the in-service teachers, as well as interviewing the participating teachers. Analysis of the data provides a methodological window through which in-service teachers’ PCK can be STEMITIZED and their abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK developed. Implications are raised for developing teachers’ STEM education in universities and teacher training colleges.
Parental expectations often differ to that of their children and the influence and involvement of parents, at home, may affect the student performance in the classroom. This paper presents results from a survey of Asian and European background secondary school mathematics students (N=128) in Melbourne, Australia. Student responses to survey questions were analysed using confirmatory factor analysis, followed by t-tests and ANOVA. The aim of the analysis was to identify similarities and differences in parental expectations in relation to ethnicity, gender, and the year level of the students. The notable findings from the analysis showed no significant difference (at 0.05 level) in parental expectations and student performance, in relation to ethnicity or gender. Conversely, there was a significant difference in both parental expectations and student performance between year 7 and year 12 students. Further, whilst there was a significant difference in parental expectations between year 7 and year 11 students, the students’ performances were not significantly different. The results suggest further research may be needed to understand the parental expectations and student performance between the lower and upper secondary school mathematics students.
We present a framework of researcher knowledge development in conducting a study in mathematics education. The key components of the framework are: knowledge germane to conducting a particular study, processes of knowledge accumulation, and catalyzing filters that influence a researcher decision making. The components of the framework originated from a confluence between constructs and theories in Mathematics Education, Higher Education and Sociology. Drawing on a self-reflective interview with a leading researcher in mathematics education, Professor Michèle Artigue, we illustrate how the framework can be utilized in data analysis. Criteria for framework evaluation are discussed.
The link between coordinate transformations in the plane and their effects on the graph of a function can be difficult for students studying college level mathematics to comprehend. To solidify this conceptual link in the mind of a student Microsoft Excel can serve as a convenient graphing tool and pedagogical aid. The authors of this paper describe how various transformations and their related functional symmetry properties can be graphically displayed with an Excel spreadsheet.
This study has been prepared with the purpose to get the views of senior class Elementary Education Mathematics preservice teachers on proving. Data have been obtained via surveys and interviews carried out with 104 preservice teachers. According to the findings, although preservice teachers have positive views about using proving in mathematics teaching, it is seen that their experiences related to proving is limited to courses and they think proving is a work done only for the exams. Furthermore, they have expressed in the interviews that proving is difficult for them, and because of this reason they prefer memorizing instead of learning.
The purpose of the study is to determine the primary mathematics student teachers- views related to use instructional technology tools in course of the learning process and to reveal how the sample presentations towards different mathematical concepts affect their views. This is a qualitative study involving twelve mathematics students from a public university. The data gathered from two semi-structural interviews. The first one was realized in the beginning of the study. After that the representations prepared by the researchers were showed to the participants. These representations contain animations, Geometer-s Sketchpad activities, video-clips, spreadsheets, and power-point presentations. The last interview was realized at the end of these representations. The data from the interviews and content analyses were transcribed and read and reread to explore the major themes. Findings revealed that the views of the students changed in this process and they believed that the instructional technology tools should be used in their classroom.
The aim of this study is to point out whether personalization of mathematical word problems could affect student achievement or not. The research was applied on two-grades students at spring semester 2008-2009. Before the treatment, students personal data were taken and given to the computer. During the treatment, paper-based personalized problems and paper-based non personalized problems were prepared by computer as the same problems and then these problems were given to students. At the end of the treatment, students- opinion was taken. As a result of this research, it was found out that there were no significant differences between learners through personalized or non-personalized materials, and also there were no significant differences between gender through personalized and non-personalized problems. However, opinion of students was highly positive through the personalized problems.
In this article, we discuss project-based learning in the context of a wheel garden as an instructional tool in science and mathematics education. A wheel garden provides multiple opportunities to teach across the curriculum, to integrate disciplines, and to promote community involvement. Grounded in the theoretical framework of constructivism, the wheel garden provides a multidisciplined educational tool that provides a hands-on, non-traditional arena for learning. We will examine some of the cultural, art, science, and mathematics connections made with this project.