24 SES 06 A, Mathematics Teacher Professional Development
Generally, models of teacher professional development have not matched the complexity of the process they seek to change (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002). Historically, programs of development were based on a training paradigm aimed at teacher mastery of prescribed skills and knowledge, which the teachers could take back to their classrooms (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002; Matos, Powell, & Sztajn, 2009). One challenge of this paradigm is the transfer of the teacher´s knowledge acquired in one context to another, often more complex one. The concept of transfer is associated with an acquisitionist perspective of knowledge which sees knowledge as static, individual and accumulative and therefore moveable between contexts. Recent critique claims that such perspectives on knowledge downplay the importance of the context, and that knowledge is not located in the “head” of the individual teacher, but attached to and situated in the social contexts of classrooms (Hodgen, 2011; Van Zoest & Bohl, 2005). This calls for more contextualized and collaborative based approaches to the professional development of teachers (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002).
Following the quantitative international comparisons of students´ mathematical achievements by TIMSS and PISA in the 1980´s, the lesson study method has been widely adopted in especially USA, in order to support practice-based, collaborative development of teaching practices in mathematics (Murata, 2011). Research studies on lesson study emphasize positive effects such as opportunities for in-service teachers to improve their knowledge for teaching mathematics including deepening their content knowledge (Meyer & Wilkerson, 2011). Another stressed positive effect is teachers´ development of a continuous practice of inquiry in which the teachers investigate students´ thinking and refine practice in collaboration (Hart & Carriere, 2011).
The general educational context in Denmark is influenced by a forthcoming school reform of primary and lower secondary school. Central to this reform is a reinforced requirement of goal-driven teaching, an extended inclusion of process aspects in learning goals, and inclusion of all students. In order to facilitate these requirements, new centralized regulations for the teaching of Danish and mathematics are being produced with guidelines and teaching examples. Challenges of implementing the school reform are hinted at in a recent report (Danmarks Evaluerings Institut, 2012) which shows that teachers primarily focus on activities – and not on goals – when planning, and that they in general do not find the centralized regulations useful.
In addition, the centralized regulations for mathematics teaching (including the forthcoming) are inspired by the reform movement launched by Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2003). This constitutes major challenges for the mathematics teachers, especially in relation to the process aspects and the focus on student learning. These require the teacher to play a much more significant role in the classroom; for instance, the teacher has to be prepared to flexibly support individual students´ needs in meaning-making activities (Skott, Larsen, & Østergaard, 2011). Similar challenges are found in relation to teaching Danish (Gregersen, 2003)
This is the background for our research team´s preoccupation with professional development of Danish and mathematics teachers using an adopted lesson study approach with a special focus on teachers´ planning practices. Lesson study allows us to conceive of and investigate planning practices in close connections with goal-driven teaching and potentials for student learning, as these emerge in teaching. In relation to the lesson study approach our research question is: How does the teachers´ participation in lesson study affect development of their professional planning practices? In order to inform the design of this approach, we set out initially to explore how the teachers conceive of planning, and how they plan.
Clarke, D., & Hollingsworth, H. (2002). Elaborating a model of teacher professional growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(8), 947–967. Danmarks Evaluerings Institut. (2012). Fælles Mål i folkeskolen. En undersøgelse af lærernes brug af Fælles Mål (pp. 1–72). Copenhagen, Denmark. Fernandez, C., Cannon, J., & Chokshi, S. (2003). A US–Japan lesson study collaboration reveals critical lenses for examining practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(2), 171–185. Gregersen, F. (2003). Fremtidens danskfag – en diskussion af danskfaglighed og et bud på dens fremtid. København. Hart, L. C., & Carriere, J. (2011). Developing the Habits of Mind for a Successful Lesson Study Community. In H. C. Lynn, A. Alston, & A. Murata (Eds.), Lesson Study Research and Practices in Mathematics Education. Dordrecht: Springer. Hodgen, J. (2011). Knowing and identity: A situated theory of mathematics knowledge in teaching. In T. Rowland & K. Ruthven (Eds.), Mathematical Knowledge in Teaching (pp. 27–42). London: Springer. Matos, J. F., Powell, A., & Sztajn, P. (2009). Mathematics Teachers´ Professional Development: Processes of Learning in and from Practice. In R. Even & D. L. Ball (Eds.), The Professional Education and Development of Teachers of Mathematics. The 15th ICMI Study (pp. 167–184). New York, USA: Springer. Meyer, R. D., & Wilkerson, T. L. (2011). Lesson Study: The Impact on Teachers´ Knowledge for Teaching of Mathematics. In H. C. Lynn, A. Alston, & A. Murata (Eds.), Lesson Study Research and Practices in Mathematics Education. Dordrecht: Springer. Murata, A. (2011). Introduktion til lesson study. In L. C. Hart, A. Alston, & A. Murata (Eds.), Lesson Study Research and Practices in Mathematics Education. Dordrecht: Springer. NCTM. (2003). Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. USA: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc Skott, J., Larsen, D. M., & Østergaard, C. H. (2011). From beliefs to patterns of participation - shifting the research perspective on teachers. Nordisk Matematikk Didaktikk, 16(1-2), 29–56. Takahashi, A. (2011). Response to Part1: Jumping into Lesson Study - Inservice Mathematics Teacher Education. In L. C. Hart, A. Alston, & A. Murata (Eds.), Lesson Study Research and Practices in Mathematics Education (pp. 79–82). Springer. Van Zoest, L. R., & Bohl, J. V. (2005). Mathematics Teacher Identity: a framwork for understandin secondary school mathematics teaching and learning through practice. Teacher Development: An international journal of teachers´professional development, 9(3), 315–346.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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