Analysis of Teaching and Learning Situations in Algebra in Prospective Teacher Education
Keywords:Teacher education, Algebra, Algebraic thinking, Mathematics, Teaching experiment
AbstractThis paper presents a teacher education experiment that was conducted in an algebra course based on an exploratory approach and articulating content and pedagogy. We investigate the contribution of analysing teaching and learning situations, namely student answers and episodes of classroom work, in developing the mathematical and teaching knowledge of prospective primary school teachers. We use a design research methodology to probe the prospective teachers’ development after having participated in an experiment in their third year of a primary education degree program. The results show that the prospective teachers’ understanding of algebra and grasp of how to use different representations and strategies grew considerably. The results also show that their didactical knowledge regarding tasks, classroom organization, attention to students’ reasoning, and teacher’s questions grew as well. The variety of tasks proposed to the prospective teachers during the course was of vital importance to this outcome, as was the opportunity to reflect, work with elements of real practice, and participate in whole class discussions.
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