Postgraduate Programmes as Platform

A Research-led Approach

Edited by Jacqueline van Swet, Petra Ponte and Ben Smit

Typical of postgraduate courses for experienced teachers is the wealth of professional experience that the students bring with them. Such students can examine their own practice, for which they are fully responsible. Postgraduate programmes are, therefore, challenged to create a flexible and research-led infrastructure that can respond to developments in the educational field and relate these developments to educational, philosophical, conceptual, and moral issues. Through the creation of a platform for such activities, the professional development of postgraduate students can be enriched. Authors from diverse backgrounds address important aspects of the platform, such as the relation between tutors and students; teachers’ professional identity; the voice of pupils; the characteristics of teachers’ workplace of the participating professionals; the relationship between action research and teacher leadership. This book offers inspiring and thought-provoking ideas to all involved in postgraduate programmes in teacher education: teacher educators, policy-makers, researchers, administrators, and schools collaborating with staff of postgraduate courses and their students. The book is an initiative of the Research Group ‘Interactive Professionalism and Knowledge Development’ at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Department of Inclusive and Special Education, The Netherlands.

The Quality of Practitioner Research

Reflections on the Position of the Researcher and The Researched

Edited by Petra Ponte and Ben H.J. Smit

This book contains different perspectives on the quality of practitioner research or action research, and focuses specifically on questions of the relation between the researcher and (the field of) the researched.
The collaborative characteristic of research by practitioners is seen by many as crucial for the better understanding and transformation of practices. Those who are included in these practices are expected to be part of the research. The distance between researcher and researched should, therefore, be small; in fact, this distance is absent when practitioners do research within their own field, without the interference of researchers from outside the school. This raises fundamental questions about the relationship between the researcher and the researched or the field of the researched. The authors of this book share a concern about the popularity of uncritical and rather technical approaches to practitioner research or action research.
The book offers inspiring and thought-provoking ideas to all involved in research by practitioners, especially in education: researchers and facilitators in the field of practitioner research, action research, and qualitative research; teachers and other practitioners, philosophers of education, and postgraduate students.
Most chapters in the book are proceedings from the joint International Practitioner Research Conference and the Collaborative Action Research Network Conference 2005 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, organized by Fontys University (dept. of Inclusive & Special Education) and Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON).

Shaping the Future

Critical Essays on Teacher Education


Edited by John Freeman-Moir and Alan Scott

World wide the production of teachers has become a sharp political issue during the early years of the twenty first century. Current systems for ensuring a supply of capable and knowledgeable teachers have come sustained under attack from politicians, economists, parents’ organisations and social critics alike. There is less agreement now about teacher education than in any time over the pass fifty years. Much of the debate in the public and political arenas has been driven by narrow and expedient consideration and too much of it demonstrates a poor grasp of the deep and complex issues which teacher education in a democracy must confront. At the same time there has been a serious educational debate which has focused on what a well trained teacher ought to be able to do, and what methods of training and education can produce competent teachers. The chapters of this book address these issues in a critical way asking what should the objectives of teacher education be. The authors demonstrate the international reach of the debate over teacher education and they ground their discussions within the national contexts of their own experience. All the authors share the view that teacher education involves much more than acquiring a set of skills and techniques. Important as these are the well trained teacher needs, for example, to have an understanding of the contexts of teaching, of the reasons why we teach, of the role of schools as institutions within political environments, as well as a coherent perspective on curriculum and the relevant bodies of theory which give overall point to what is being done. What teacher education entails will probably never be beyond contestation, at least not so long as it takes place within capitalist democracies. These democracies, with their tensions running between liberal ideals and economic imperative, push and pull teacher education in contradictory directions. At present educational ideals seems too quickly and too dogmatically to be traded for immediate fiscal policy. The authors of these chapters articulate the reasons why such short-term thinking will be detrimental to any approach to teacher education which commits itself to producing well rounded and comprehensively professional teachers.

Teachers Learning in Communities

International Perspectives


Michal Zellermayer, Elaine Munthe, Malka Gorodetsky, Frances O'Connel Rust and Lily Orland-Barak

Teaching, Learning, and Other Miracles

Foreword by William Ayers


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


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.


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


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.