Article by Tony Harries (School of Education, University of Durham) and (Ruth Barrington Bath Spa University College)
Currently there is much emphasis on subject competence for primary QTS students Thus within ITT courses our mathematics core provision needs to provide both subject and professional competence in accordance with government directives. We have tried to enable the students to provide evidence of their competence in different ways - a test and a re-test, completion of specific tasks, reading activities, portfolio evidence. For many students the pressure of focusing on their subject knowledge has been a difficult experience and thus we have tried to monitor the way in which this focus is affecting the way in which they both approach and operate within the classroom. Through questionnaires and interviews we have tried to elicit information about how their confidence has developed and how the focus on subject knowledge has affected their approach to planning mathematics activities. Generally the student response to subject knowledge has been positive and in this paper we explore their responses in a number of areas.
Pat and Stephanie provide an outline of the articles in Mathematics Education Review (MER) No. 14, September 2001.
Article by Anjum Halai (Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development)
In 1994, the Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development (AKU- IED) started a new master’s programme for mid-career teachers. The graduates of the programme went out to become ‘Professional Development Teachers (PDTs)’. In this paper one PDT describes her work in the school that sponsored her, and in the AKU-IED. The discussion draws upon examples from her work with a mathematics teacher. Findings indicate that the model of teacher development proposed by the AKU-IED has potential for teacher growth because it incorporates features of some robust forms of teacher development such as mentoring and coaching including cycles of supported planning, demonstration and feedback.
Article by Anne Sinkinson (Homerton College, Cambridge)
The inspection by Ofsted of courses of initial teacher education is high-stakes. This paper presents further analysis of the complete cohort of published inspection reports of providers of secondary mathematics initial teacher education Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) courses carried out by Ofsted in the period 1996/8. The analysis demonstrates that there is considerable variation in the reports, in terms of word length, how particular criteria seem to be applied, and how judgements are expressed. Attention to the transparency of the inspection process and to matters of validity and reliability is crucial if there is to be confidence in the inspection system.
Article by Sally Taverner
This paper presents an overview of a session run with secondary PGCE students to raise their awareness of the issues associated with reporting to parents. The implications for record keeping and the need for clear, concise language in written reports are discussed with reference to one of the author's own school reports. Its light-hearted approach still allows students to consider this important issue in a non-threatening way.
Article by Hilary Povey, Sue Elliott and David Lingard
In this article, we begin by sketching the dominant view of the nature of mathematics and then rehearse the arguments which suggest that the relationship between mathematics, education and equity points up the need for a reconceptualisation of the nature of the discipline. This in turn entails a re- vision of the pedagogy of mathematics classrooms and therefore has implications for the work of those engaged in teacher education. We argue that the equity demands for an inclusive mathematics require us to investigate the ways in which we can develop a mathematics education practice which respects connected knowing and person-relatedness and champions both the personal and the authority of the learner. In this context, we consider whether and how a
mathematics curriculum which emphasises the historical and cultural locations of mathematics will be one which addresses such issues of social justice.
We report on a small scale empirical study of the role of a history of mathematics unit taken by undergraduate primary initial teacher education students in supporting such developments. We offer qualitative data based on students’ individual reflective writing, using these to indicate and assess the impact of these approaches on these students and their conceptions of mathematics. Suggestions are made about the consequences for developing an inclusive mathematics.
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