Teaching, Learning, and Other Miracles

Foreword by William Ayers

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Grace Feuerverger

Award-winning author Grace Feuerverger explores teaching and learning in schools as a sacred life journey, a quest toward liberation. Written for teacher/educators who wish to make a real difference in the lives of their students, this book speaks to everyone who finds themselves, as she did, on winding and often treacherous paths, longing to discover the meaning and potential in their professional lives at school. A child of Holocaust survivors, Feuerverger wrote this book to tell how schools can be transformed into magical places where miracles happen. In an era of narrow agendas of ‘efficiency’ and ‘control,’ this book dares to suggest that education is and should always be about uplifting the human spirit.

Theorems in School

From History, Epistemology and Cognition to Classroom Practice

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Edited by Paulo Boero

During the last decade, a revaluation of proof and proving within mathematics curricula was recommended; great emphasis was put on the need of developing proof-related skills since the beginning of primary school.
This book, addressing mathematics educators, teacher-trainers and teachers, is published as a contribution to the endeavour of renewing the teaching of proof (and theorems) on the basis of historical-epistemological, cognitive and didactical considerations. Authors come from eight countries and different research traditions: this fact offers a broad scientific and cultural perspective.
In this book, the historical and epistemological dimensions are dealt with by authors who look at specific research results in the history and epistemology of mathematics with an eye to crucial issues related to educational choices. Two papers deal with the relationships between curriculum choices concerning proof (and the related implicit or explicit epistemological assumptions and historical traditions) in two different school systems, and the teaching and learning of proof there.
The cognitive dimension is important in order to avoid that the didactical choices do not fit the needs and the potentialities of learners. Our choice was to firstly deal with the features of reasoning related to proof, mainly concerning the relationships between argumentation and proof.
The second part of this book concentrates on some crucial cognitive and didactical aspects of the development of proof from the early approach in primary school, to high school and university. We will show how suitable didactical proposals within appropriate educational contexts can match the great (yet, underestimated!) young students’ potentialities in approaching theorems and theories.

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Anna Traianou

What does it mean to be an expert primary science practitioner? How do primary teachers use science subject knowledge in their practice? This book addresses these questions from a sociocultural perspective, challenging currently influential constructivist accounts. It treats the nature of teacher expertise as a dynamic capacity exemplified by those who are recognised as experts in their local communities of practice. In line with this, it provides an in-depth case study of the perspective and practices of a primary science teacher who is locally and more widely recognised as an expert practitioner. One of the conclusions is that primary science expertise is eclectic in character, requiring the employment, in a flexible way, of a variety of forms of knowledge, views of learning, and teaching strategies in order to deal successfully with the contingent situations faced in the classroom.
The study of expertise-in-action is particularly important at a time when teaching is increasingly configured in terms of competencies and standards. Its implications for the education of primary science practitioners are profound.
Students on education courses, teachers, and researchers will find this book of value for its careful exploration of arguments about the nature of knowledge and learning, and how these are implicated in classroom practice.

Changing Teaching, Changing Times

Lessions from a South African Township Science Classroom

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Jonathan Clark and Cedric Linder

This is the story of a science teacher and her work in an over-crowded and under-resourced township secondary school in contemporary South Africa. While set firmly in the present, it is also a journey into the past, shedding fresh light on how the legacy of apartheid education continues to have a major influence on teaching and learning in South Africa.
The book has a compelling story line with extensively referenced notes at the end of each chapter. It is intended for a wide audience, which includes general readers, policy makers, teacher-educators, researchers and, most importantly, practitioners in the field. For, while it reminds us of the powerful constraining role that both context and students play in mediating a teacher’s practice, it also attests to the power of individual agency. As such it is a celebration of the actions of an ordinary teacher whose willingness to leave the well-worn paths of familiar practice stands as a beacon of possibility for contexts which seem, so often, to be devoid of hope.

Competence Oriented Teacher Training

Old Research Demands and New Pathways

Edited by Fritz K. Oser, Frank Achtenhagen and Ursula Renold

Internationally leading experts from four continents provide new views and pathways to teacher education and training. How can teachers be effectively and efficiently trained to master the complexity and the process conditions of teaching-learning situations? The chapters as a whole demonstrate that subtle knowledge of the conditions and variables of instructional processes is necessary. They provide new insight into the classroom. But the chapters also stress the necessity of reflection: Teachers have to learn how to judge and justify that knowledge and its use. Reflective behaviour, thus, is seem as the overall goal of teacher education and training The authors are aware that this goal might be classified as “idealistic” and present, therefore, complex examples for successful conducting instructional processes. They open the view on hidden or neglected dimensions of teaching and learning, discuss standards for teacher behaviour, present critical situations together with possible solutions and give hints for the use of technology. Together, these chapters present new perspectives for successful teacher actions and the corresponding preparation for successful instruction.

Edited by Ángel Gutiérrez and Paulo Boero

"This volume is a compilation of the research produced by the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) since its creation, 30 years ago. It has been written to become an essential reference for Mathematics Education research in the coming years.
The chapters offer summaries and synthesis of the research produced by the PME Group, presented to let the readers grasp the evolution of paradigms, questions, methodologies and most relevant research results during the last 30 years. They also include extensive lists of references. Beyond this, the chapters raise the main current research questions and suggest directions for future research.
The handbook is divided into five sections devoted to the main research domains of interest to the PME Group. The first three sections summarize cognitively oriented research on learning and teaching specific content areas, transversal areas, and based on technology rich environments. The fourth section is devoted to the research on social, affective, cultural and cognitive aspects of Mathematics Education. Finally, the fifth section includes two chapters summarizing the PME research on teacher training and professional life of mathematics teachers.
The volume is the result of the effort of 30 authors and 26 reviewers. Most of them are recognized leading PME researchers with great expertise on the topic of their chapter. This handbook shall be of interest to both experienced researchers and doctoral students needing detailed synthesis of the advances and future directions of research in Mathematics Education, and also to mathematics teacher trainers who need to have a comprehensive reference as background for their courses on Mathematics Education.

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Edited by Marc J. de Vries and Ilja Mottier

This first volume in the International Technology Education Series offers a unique, worldwide collection of national surveys into the developments of Technology Education in the past two decades. For twenty-two countries from five continents the major changes of this school subject are described by experts that have been involved in these changes for many years themselves. The studies deal with national curricula, teacher education programs, educational research into effects of Technology Education, and practical issue at classroom level. After the 15th International Pupils’ Attitude Towards Technology conference which was held in Haarlem in April 2005, a distinguished group of scholars from the area of Technology Education decided that after 20 years it was time to give account of the state of the art in this area. This book should be of interest to students, teachers, researchers and policy-makers who are involved in technology education.

Making Connections

Comparing Mathematics Classrooms Around the World

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Edited by David Clarke, Jonas Emanuelsson, Eva Jablonka and Ida Ah Chee Mok

In this book, comparisons are made between the practices of classrooms in a variety of different school systems around the world. The abiding challenge for classroom research is the realization of structure in diversity. The structure in this case takes the form of patterns of participation: regularities in the social practices of mathematics classrooms. The expansion of our field of view to include international rather than just local classrooms increases the diversity and heightens the challenge of the search for structure, while increasing the significance of any structures, once found. In particular, this book reports on the use of ‘lesson events’ as an entry point for the analysis of lesson structure. International research offers opportunities to study settings and characteristics untenable in the researcher’s local situation. Importantly, international comparative studies can reveal possibilities for practice that would go unrecognized within the established norms of educational practice of one country or one culture. Our capacity to conceive of alternatives to our current practice is constrained by deep-rooted assumptions, reflecting cultural and societal values that we lack the perspective to question. The comparisons made possible by international research facilitate our identification and interrogation of these assumptions. Such interrogation opens up possibilities for innovation that might not otherwise be identified, expanding the repertoire of mathematics teachers internationally, and providing the basis for theory development.

Mathematics Classrooms in Twelve Countries

The Insider's Perspective

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Edited by David Clarke, Christine Keitel and Yoshinori Shimizu

This book reports the accounts of researchers investigating the eighth grade mathematics classrooms of teachers in Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, The Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and the USA. This combination of countries gives good representation to different European and Asian educational traditions, affluent and less affluent school systems, and mono-cultural and multi-cultural societies. Researchers within each local group focused their analyses on those aspects of practice and meaning most closely aligned with the concerns of the local school system and the theoretical orientation of the researchers. Within any particular educational system, the possibilities for experimentation and innovation are limited by more than just methodological and ethical considerations: they are limited by our capacity to conceive possible alternatives. They are also limited by our assumptions regarding acceptable practice. These assumptions are the result of a long local history of educational practice, in which every development was a response to emergent local need and reflective of changing local values. Well-entrenched practices sublimate this history of development. The Learner’s Perspective Study is guided by a belief that we need to learn from each other. The resulting chapters offer deeply situated insights into the practices of mathematics classrooms in twelve countries: an insider’s perspective.

Metropedagogy

Power, Justice, and the Urban Classroom

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Edited by Joe Kincheloe and Kecia Hayes

What might it mean to develop a rigorous, just, and practical urban education? Such a question takes on new importance in the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century, as urban educators find themselves besieged with test-driven, standardized curricula promoted in the name of fairness, educational excellence, and egalitarianism. Those who promote these standardized curricula fail to account for the unique situations and needs of particular urban students. When an urban curriculum is standardized, the students suffering from the effects of poverty, racial discrimination, and other problems are less likely to receive the specific pedagogical help they need to overcome the effects of such impediments. Such students have special needs. Teachers need the curricular freedom, the professional respect to address these special requirements. Metropedagogy, constructed as a critical pedagogy for urban education, addresses these concerns. This book will be very useful as a text in urban education at the graduate and the undergraduate level.