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Sc(Mathematics) and

Other Science Graduate Student Teachers: Case of Triangles

Action Research

Certificate of Diploma in School Management under faculty of Education.

Research Student

Research Guide

Dr. BHISE

CENTRE

DECEMBER 2019

Page 1

INDEX

Introduction

1 General Introduction

Background of the theory

Statement Problem

2

Operational Definition, Terms

3 Importance of Study

4 Objective of Study

5 Review of Related Literature& Research

6 Assumption

Hypothesis

7 Research Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis

Research Methodology

Methods of Research

Research Design

8 Population

Sampling & Sample

Data collection Tools/Technique

Data Analysis tools/Statistical tools

9 Scope ,Limitation & Delimitation

10 Significance of the Study

11 Possible Knowledge Contribution

12 Timetable/Research Schedule

13 References

Page 2

INTRODUCTION :

“The successful teaching of geometry depends on teachers knowing a good deal

of geometry and how to teach it effectively.“

child’s thinking.Clarity of thought and pursuing assumptions to logical

conclusions is central to the mathematicalenterprise. There are many ways of

thinking, and the kind of thinking one learns in mathematicsis an ability to handle

abstractions, and an approach to problem solving.

Universalization of schooling has important implications for mathematics

curriculum. Mathematics being a compulsory subject of study, access to quality

mathematics education isevery child’s right. We want mathematics education that

is affordable to every child, and at thesame time, enjoyable. With many children

exiting the system after Class VIII, mathematics educationat the elementary stage

should help children prepare for the challenges they face further in life.In our

vision, school mathematics takes place in a situation where: (1) Children learn to

enjoy mathematics, (2) Children learn important mathematics, (3) Mathematics is

a part of children’s lifeexperience which they talk about, (4) Children pose and

solve meaningful problems, (5) Childrenuse abstractions to perceive relationships

and structure, (6) Children understand the basic structureof mathematics and (7)

Teachers expect to engage every child in class.

On the other hand, mathematics education in our schools is beset with problems.

We identifythe following core areas of concern: (a) A sense of fear and failure

regarding mathematics amonga majority of children, (b) A curriculum that

disappoints both a talented minority as well as thenon-participating majority at

the same time, (c) Crude methods of assessment that encourageperception of

mathematics as mechanical computation, and (d) Lack of teacher preparation

andsupport in the teaching of mathematics. Systemic problems further aggravate

the situation, in the sense that structures of social discrimination get reflected in

mathematics education as well. Especiallyworth mentioning in this regard is the

gender dimension, leading to a stereotype that boys arebetter at mathematics than

girls.

Page 3

The analysis of these problems lead us to recommend: (a) Shifting the focus of

mathematicseducation from achieving ‘narrow’ goals to ‘higher’ goals, (b)

Engaging every student with a senseof success, while at the same time offering

conceptual challenges to the emerging mathematician,(c) Changing modes of

assessment to examine students’ mathematization abilities rather thanprocedural

knowledge, and (d) Enriching teachers with a variety of mathematical resources.

The shift in focus we propose is from mathematical content to mathematical

learningenvironments, where a whole range of processes take precedence: formal

problem solving, useof heuristics, estimation and approximation, optimization,

use of patterns, visualization,representation, reasoning and proof, making

connections, mathematical communication. Givingimportance to these processes

also helps in removing fear of mathematics from children’s minds. A crucial

implication of such a shift lies in offering a multiplicity of approaches,

procedures, solutions. We see this as crucial for liberating school mathematics

from the tyranny of the oneright answer, found by applying the one algorithm

taught. Such learning environments inviteparticipation, engage children, and offer

a sense of success.

In terms of assessment, we recommend that Board examinations be restructured,

so that theminimum eligibility for a State certificate is numeracy, reducing the

instance of failure in mathematics.On the other hand, at the higher end, we

recommend that examinations be more challenging,evaluating conceptual

understanding and competence.

We note that a great deal needs to be done towards preparing teachers for

mathematicseducation. A large treasury of resource material, which teachers can

access freely as well as contributeto, is badly needed. Networking of school

teachers among themselves as well as with universityteachers will help.

When it comes to curricular choices, we recommend moving away from the

current structureof tall and spindly education (where one concept builds on

another, culminating in universitymathematics), to a broader and well-rounded

structure, with many topics “closer to the ground”.If accommodating processes

like geometric visualization can only be done by reducing content,we suggest that

content be reduced rather than compromise on the former. Moreover, wesuggest a

Page 4

principle of postponement: in general, if a theme can be offered with better

motivation and applications at a later stage, wait for introducing it at that stage,

rather than go for technicalpreparation without due motivation.

Our vision of excellent mathematical education is based on the twin premises that

all studentscan learn mathematics and that all students need to learn mathematics.

It is thereforeimperative that we offer mathematics education of the very highest

quality to all children.( position paper-National Focus Group On Teaching Of

Mathematics)

General Introduction :

Inadequate Teacher Preparation. More so than any other content discipline,

mathematicseducation relies very heavily on the preparation that the teacher has,

in her own understanding of mathematics, of the nature of mathematics, and in

her bag of pedagogic techniques. Textbook-centred pedagogy dulls the teacher’s

own mathematics activity.

At two ends of the spectrum, mathematics teaching poses special problems. At

the primary level, most teachers assume that they know all the mathematics

needed, and in the absence of any specific pedagogic training, simply try and

uncritically reproduce the techniques they experienced in their school days. Often

this ends up perpetuating problems across time andspace.At the secondary and

higher secondary level, some teachers face a different situation. The syllabi have

considerably changed since their school days, and in the absence of systematic

and continuing educationprogrammes for teachers, their fundamentals in

manyconcept areas are not strong. This encourages reliance on ‘notes’ available

in the market, offering little breadth or depth for the students.While inadequate

teacher preparation and support acts negatively on all of school mathematics, at

the primary stage, its main consequence is this mathematics pedagogy rarely

resonates with the findings of children’s psychology. At the upper primary

stage,when the language of abstractions is formalised in algebra, inadequate

teacher preparation reflects as inability to link formal mathematics with

experiential learning. Later on, it reflects as incapacity to offer connections

Page 5

within mathematics or across subject areas to applications in the sciences, thus

depriving students of important motivation and appreciation.

Two theoretical constructs guided this study—Ma’s (1999) depiction of

ProfoundUnderstanding of Fundamental Mathematics (PUFM) and the van Hiele

level theory. PUFMprovides the ideal structure of elementary teachers' content

knowledge in general. The van Hielelevel theory, developed in the late 1950s by

two Dutch educators, Pierre van Hiele and Dina vanHiele-Geldof, describes the

levels of mental development in geometry (van Hiele, 1986).

Overall, PUFM, cited by over 800 papers in the database of Google Scholar, has

been regardedas the comprehensive and significant ability of elementary teachers

in teaching mathematics incontemporary society, whereas the van Hiele level

theory has been used to study studentperformances of learning geometry (Senk,

1989) and pre-service teachers' reasoning stages(Halat, 2008).

A Perspective on Teachers' Content Knowledge:

PUFMMa (1999) developed PUFM as a deep, thorough, and comprehensive

understanding ofelementary mathematics. PUFM includes the following

characteristics: ―[I]t [PUFM] is theawareness of the conceptual structure and

basic attitudes of mathematics inherent in elementarymathematics and the ability

to provide a foundation for that conceptual structure and instill thosebasic

attitudes in students‖ (p. 124). Teachers with PUFM tend to focus on both

mathematicalconcepts and procedures; cherish multiple viewpoints, as well as

various approaches whensolving a mathematical problem; strengthen simple but

crucial basic principles, such asrecognizing properties of two dimensional

shapes; and possess great capacities for incorporatingprevious concepts that

students have already learned with brand-new concepts along with thoseto be

studied later (Ma, 1999). Ma's study demonstrated that mathematics teachers with

PUFMmake greater contributions to their teaching than those who do not have

PUFM. Moreover,PUFM strongly links to what Skemp (1978) portrayed as the

relational understandingknowing both what to do and why‖ (p. 9)—and clearly

explains why a great number of teachershave capacities to solve mathematical

Page 6

problems but could not appropriately offer the rightinterpretations regarding their

solutions (Post et al., 1991).

A Perspective on Levels of Geometric Thinking:

The van Hiele LevelsHoffer (1981) provides an overall description in regard to

the five van Hiele levels: Level1 is Recognition and ―[t]he student learns some

vocabulary and recognizes a shape as a whole‖(p. 13); Level 2 is Analysis and

―[t]he student analyzes properties of figures‖ (p. 14); Level 3 is6Ordering and

―[t]he student logically orders figures and understands interrelationships

betweenfigures and the importance of accurate definitions‖ (p. 14); Level 4 is

Deduction and ―[t]hestudent understands the significance of deduction and the

role of postulates, theorems, andproof‖ (p. 14); Level 5 is Rigor and ―[t]he

student understands the importance of precision indealing with foundations and

interrelationships between structures‖ (p. 14). To illustrate what isinvolved in

each level, consider Level 1 as an example. Students at this level have the ability

torecognize pictures of rectangles. However, students do not seem to have

awareness of severalproperties of rectangles (Hoffer, 1981).

According to the model, three characteristics exist among a five-level hierarchy

of waysof understanding in geometry—one is the existence of levels, another is

properties of the levels,and, finally, there is the movement from one level to the

next (Usiskin, 1982). Furthermore, thelevels are in order and the progression

through the levels is sequential. That is, students movethrough one level if they

obtain accurate geometric thinking for the level and produce thethought that is

necessary for the next level (Hoffer, 1981).Hill et al. (2004) demonstrate that

teachers' knowledge is positively related to theachievements of their students. To

be able to teach geometry effectively to elementary schoolstudents, teachers need

to develop PUFM that is specific to the geometry learning. They need

tounderstand the conceptual structure of elementary geometry topics. It is

unlikely that pre-serviceteachers will be able to develop the full PUFM in

geometry as part of their teacher educationprogram.

Statement Problem:

Investigation ofGeometry Content Knowledge of B.Sc. (Mathematics) and

Page 7

OtherScience Graduate secondary Student Teachers: Case of Triangles

1) Geometry- A Branch of mathematics.

2) Content Knowledge-

a) Mastery of core concepts and principles of Euclidean geometry in the plane

and space,

b) Understanding of the nature of axiomatic reasoning and the role that it has

played in the development of mathematics and facility in fundamental proof

Strategies,

c) Understanding and skill in use of a variety of methods for studying geometric

problems-including synthetic, transformation, coordinate, and vector

strategies,

d) Understanding of trigonometry from a geometric perspective and skill in use

of trigonometric relationships to solve problems,

e) Knowledge of some significant modern aspects of geometry like

Tiling,computer graphics, robotics, fractals, and spatial visualization,

f) Ability to use computer-based dynamic drawing tools to conduct geometric

investigations emphasizing visualization, pattern recognition, and

conjecturing.

4) Other Science graduate-Bachelor of Science with specialization in subject

other than mathematics.

5) SecondaryStudent Teachers- Students who have been pursuing teachers

training in B.Ed. Course for teaching secondary level( 9th& 10th ) children.

{ In this research 80 [ 40 B.Sc.(mathematics) and 40 other Science Graduate]

student teachers ofB.Ed. colleges of Pune city will be selected.}

Importance of study:

At Secondary stage Mathematics comes to the student as an academic

discipline. In a sense, at the elementary stage, mathematics education is (or

Page 8

ought to be) guided more by the logic of children’s psychology of learning rather

than the logic of mathematics. But at the secondary stage, the student begins to

perceive the structure of mathematics. For this, the notions of argumentation and

proof become central to curriculum now.

Mathematical terminology is highly stylized, self-conscious and rigorous.

The student begins to feel comfortable and at ease with the characteristics of

mathematical communication: carefully defined terms and concepts, the use of

symbols to represent them, precisely stated propositions using only terms defined

earlier, and proofs justifying propositions. The student appreciates how an edifice

is built up, arguments constructed using propositions justified earlier, to prove a

theorem, which in turn is used in proving more.

For long, geometry and trigonometry have wisely been regarded as the

arena wherein students can learn to appreciate this structure best. In the

elementary stage, if students have learnt many shapes and know how to associate

quantities and formulas with them, here they start reasoning about these shapes

using the defined quantities and formulas.

Algebra, introduced earlier, is developed at some length at this stage.

Facility with algebraic manipulation is essential, not only for applications of

mathematics, but also internally in mathematics. Proofs in geometry and

trigonometry show the usefulness of algebraic machinery. It is important to

ensure that students learn to geometrically visualize what they accomplish

algebraically.

A substantial part of the secondary mathematics curriculum can be devoted

to consolidation. This can be and needs to be done in many ways. Firstly, the

student needs to integrate the many techniques of mathematics she has learnt into

a problem solving ability. For instance, this implies a need for posing problems

to students which involve more than one content area: algebra and trigonometry,

geometry and mensuration, and so on. Secondly, mathematics is used in the

physical and social sciences, and making the connections explicit can inspire

students immensely. Thirdly, mathematical modelling, data analysis and

interpretation, taught at this stage, can consolidate a high level of literacy. For

instance, consider an environment related project, where the student has to set up

Page 9

a simple linear approximation and model a phenomenon, solve it, visualise the

solution, and deduce a property of the modelled system. The consolidated

learning from such an activity builds a responsible citizen, who can later

intuitively analyze information available in the media and contribute to

democratic decision making.

At the secondary stage, a special emphasis on experimentation and

exploration may be worthwhile. Mathematics laboratories are a recent

phenomenon, which hopefully will expand considerably in future. Activities in

practical mathematics help students immensely in visualization. Indeed, Singh,

Avtar and Singh offer excellent suggestions for activities at all stages. Periodic

systematic evaluation of the impact of such laboratories and activitieswill help in

planning strategies for scaling up these attempts.

Objective of Study:The systemic changes that we have advocated require

substantial investments of time, energy, and support on the part of teachers.

Professional development, affecting the beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and

practices of teachers in the school, is central to achieving this change. In order for

the vision described in this paper to become a reality, it is critical that

professional development focuses on mathematics specifically. Generic ‘teacher

training’ does not provide the understanding of content, of instructional

techniques, and of critical issues in mathematics education that is needed by

classroom teachers.

There are many mechanisms that need to be ensured to offer better teacher

support and professional development, but the essential and central requirement

is that of a large treasury of resource material which teachers can access freely as

well as contribute to. Further, networking of teachers so that expertise and

experience can be shared is important. In addition, identifying and nurturing

resource teachers can greatly help the process. Regional mathematics libraries

may be built to act as resource centres.

An important area of concern is the teacher’s own perception of what

mathematics is, and what constitute the goals of mathematics education. Many of

the processes we have outlined above are not considered to be central by most

Page 10

mathematics teachers, mainly because of the way they were taught and a lack of

any later training on such processes.

Offering a range of material to teachers that enriches their understanding of the

subject, provides insights into the conceptual and historical development of the

subject and helps them innovate in their classrooms is the best means of teacher

support. For this, providing channels of communication with college teachers and

research mathematicians will be of great help. When teachers network among

themselves and link up with teachers in universities, their pedagogic competence

will be strengthened immensely. Such systematic sharing of experience and

expertise can be of great help.

The most commonly accepted definition of teacher knowledge was given by

Shulman (1986, 1987), who developed a cognitive model of teacher knowledge,

which consists three types of teacher knowledge; content knowledge (CK),

pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and curriculum knowledge. CK refers to

knowledge base of the content one is teaching, such as mathematics. PCK “…

goes beyond knowledge of subject matter per se to the dimensions of subject

matter knowledge for teaching…” (p. 9). PCK is the type of knowledge that

distinguishes the work of a teacher from the work of a scientist. The third

knowledge, curriculum knowledge addresses effective use of curriculum

materials and being familiar with other subjects that students study.

Among these knowledge types, content knowledge stands out as a point of focus

for teacher education. Brown and Borko (1992) asserted that PSTs’ limited

mathematical content knowledge is an obstacle for their training on pedagogical

knowledge. In the mathematics education field, mathematical knowledge for

teaching (MKT) was developed as following the Shulman’s model for teacher

knowledge (Ball et al., 2008). MKT model addresses how a teacher uses

mathematics for teaching (Ball, 2000). According to MKT model, there are six

domains of teacher’s content knowledge which can be categorized under

Shulman’s different types of knowledge (Ball, Thames & Phelps, 2008). There

are three domains under subject matter knowledge: common content knowledge

Page 11

(CCK, mathematics knowledge not unique to teaching), specialized content

knowledge (SCK, mathematics knowledge unique to teaching), and horizon

content knowledge (knowledge of mathematics throughout the curriculum). Also,

there are three domains under pedagogical content knowledge: knowledge of

content and students (KCS, interaction of knowledge of mathematics and

students’ mathematical conceptions), knowledge of content and teaching (KCT,

interaction of knowledge of mathematics and teaching methods), and knowledge

of content and curriculum (interaction of knowledge of mathematics and

mathematics curriculum).

Many leading mathematics education researchers, Ball (2000), Rowland,

Huckstep and Thwaites (2005), Usiskin (2001) discussed role of addressing

content preparation of teachers in the context of teaching. There are two practices

stands out in the literature to address teachers’ knowledge which are using video

discussion groups (Sherin& Han, 2004) and using students’ work to analyze

(Kazemi&Franke, 2004). The synthesis of the literature on these two practices

shows that the practice of video discussion groups allows for deeper discussion

on PCK while absence of classroom environment in students’ work allows for

deeper discussion on CK by teachers (Lampert& Ball, 1998; Sherin& Han,

2004). Using students’ work to analyze what students know and what they are

learning to facilitate teacher learning results in teachers’ deeper subject matter

knowledge (Kazemi&Franke, 2004). Therefore, using students work in a

methods course could also improve PSTs’ mathematics knowledge for teaching

especially when they have no classroom connection during the methods course.

Content knowledge of teachers is important for every subject including

geometry. The limited number of research projects focused on knowledge of

geometry for teaching concludes that beginning teachers are not equipped with

necessary CK and PCK for geometry, and it is important to address this issue in

teacher education (Jones, 2000; Swafford, Jones, & Thornton, 1997). In a study

of middle and secondary school teachers’ geometry content knowledge, Fostering

Geometric Thinking (FGT), content activities and analysis of student work were

used with in-service teachers (Driscol, Egan, Dimatteo&Nikula, 2009). FGT

study showed significant difference between control group teachers who did not

Page 12

receive any professional development and treatment group teachers who received

20-week long intervention. The intervention was designed to provide geometry

content experiences for teachers and analysis of student work from teachers own

classroom in order to address geometry content knowledge in the context of

teaching.

In discussing the impact of teacher knowledge on learning mathematics, Jones,

Langrall,Thornton, and Nisbet (2002) observe that current models of teaching

mathematics, includingguided reinvention, Open-Approach Method, and the

Mathematics Teaching Cycle (see Jones, etal, 2002 for references) all reflect the

belief that instruction should be informed in part by teacherknowledge of

mathematics. Perry and Docket (2002) also note that,One important point to

make here is that if adults are to play the role of 'knowingassistant and supporter,'

they need to know the mathematics with which their children aredealing. Not

only do they need to be able to handle the questions posed, or at least be ableto

see a route toward a solution, but they also need to have what Ma (1999, p. 124)

calleda 'profound understanding of fundamental mathematics' (p. 103)for which

Perry and Dockett indicate few teachers of young children have.Because the

Geometry Standard from the National Council of Teachers of

MathematicsPrinciples and Standards for School Mathematics states a desire for

learners to "analyzecharacteristics and properties of two- and three- dimensional

geometric shapes and developmathematical arguments about geometric

relationships" (NCTM, 2000, p. 41), teachers ofelementary school children need

sufficient geometry content knowledge to help them realizethese curricular

expectations for children's learning of geometry. The Conference Board of

theMathematical Sciences observes that much of the geometry content proposed

in curricula is new(CBMS, 2001, p. 21). Furthermore, they advocate that teachers

of young children developcompetence in such content as, "Basic shapes, their

properties, and relationships among them:developing an understanding of angles,

transformations (reflections, rotations, and translations),congruence and

similarity" (CBMS, 2001, p. 21) and in "Communicating geometric

ideas:learning technical vocabulary and understanding the role of mathematical

definition" (CBMS,2001, p. 21). In short, a “profound understanding” of

Page 13

geometric ideas is needed by teachers. Thissuggests a need to examine teachers'

understanding of geometry.

J. Pickreign: Rectangles and Rhombi: How Well Do Pre-service Teachers Know

Them?With regard to the CBMS recommendation that teachers be able to

develop competencein properties of basic shapes and their relationships to each

other, and to be able to developcompetence in communicating geometry by

developing vocabulary and "understanding the roleof definition", one may

inquire as to the development of this in pre-service programs. Promptedby a

study by Reinke (1997) who found that pre-service teachers in an elementary

educationprogram presented evidence of confusion with regard to the concepts of

area and perimeter, thequestion of the nature of other obstacles that geometry

topics may present to pre-service teachersis raised.

The present study examines what is revealed about pre-service teachers

understanding ofthe properties and relationships among parallelograms through

their articulation of the meaningof rectangle and rhombus. Its purpose is to

explore and diagnose any misconceptions these pre-serviceteachers have

regarding these shapes.

A teacher is viewed as someone that possesses (or should possess) specific and

adequatecontent knowledge. Jaworski and Wood (1999) note that in various

countries the need toimprove the experience of classroom mathematical learning

through the development of teachers’knowledge of mathematics and knowledge

of pedagogy is still relevant. Farah-Sirkis (1999,p.44) notes that both experienced

and novice teachers view subject matter knowledge as apriority for in-service

training programs and mentions that 80% of teachers viewed subject

matterknowledge as the number one qualification for a good mathematics

teacher.

Shulman’s work (1986) confirmed the complexity of research into teaching and

teacherbehavior and focused on elements of teacher knowledge (content and

pedagogical contentknowledge) – with teacher knowledge being one of the

factors that influence teacher behavior.

Teacher knowledge and the possible role it plays in the classroom are well

documented (for e.g.Ernest, 1989; Koehler &Grouws, 1992; Kong & Kwok,

Page 14

1999), but what and how muchknowledge a teacher needs to be successful

remains a question for debate. The solution requires achange in the nature of

training rather than more content courses as “course taking is not a proxyfor

knowledge” (Ball, 1999, p.21).

The current state of South African primary school (Gr.1-7) teachers’ content

knowledgeand the impact on classrooms have previously been investigated by

South African researchers,including Webb, Bolt, Austin, Cloete, England, Feza,

Ilsley, Kurup, Peires and Wessels (1998),in subjects such as science and

mathematics. These studies brought the state of South Africanteachers’

knowledge to the fore, but none focused solely on Geometry – a problematic

topic insecondary school (Gr.8-12). These studies also did not account for the

influence and adequacy ofpre-service training received by teachers.

This article will endeavour to summarize a two year study investigating both the

state ofpre-service teachers’ (PTs’), teachers’ and learners’ knowledge of grade 7

geometry (using theVan Hiele theory (1986) and the acquisition scales of

Gutiérrez, Jaime and Fortuny (1991)).

Furthermore, the article will investigate the possible relationship between a

teacher’s contentknowledge and the learners’ learning gain. The conclusion will

point to the implications of thefindings, but will also make some

recommendations for both pre and in-service teachereducation.Definitions of

geometry concepts and examples illustrating them are invariably incorporated

as part of instruction by teachers and appear in textbooks designed to enhance

studentunderstanding. Yet a limited understanding of geometry concepts exists

among students (Fuys,Geddes, &Tischler, 1985; Hershkowitz, 1987;

Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1980) and elementarypre-service teachers (Gutierrez &

Jaime, 1999; Hershkowitz, 1987; Mason & Schell, 1988;Mayberry, 1981).

This limited understanding of geometry concepts includes what Vinner and

Hershkowitzidentify as the mismatch between formal concept definitions and

students’ concept images(1980). Because of how concepts are traditionally

taught, a student may be encouraged tomemorize a definition, called the concept

definition. On the other hand, when in the process oftrying to recall a concept, it

Page 15

is not the concept definition that comes to mind. A student typicallyremembers

prior experiences with diagrams, attributes, and examples associated with the

concept, instead of the concept definition. All of these experiences embody the

concept image(Gutierrez & Jaime, 1999). The concept image held by some

students can be limited to a singleprototypical image, and an over-reliance on it

can impact their understanding (Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1980).

Another impediment to student understanding of geometry concepts may be due

to thetextbook, which teachers noted as the “most commonly used resource”

(Kajander& Lovric,2009). Some textbooks provide inadequate definitions and a

restricted number of examples,making them deficient (Hershkowitz, 1987;

Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1987). Although teachersfrequently “supplement what

they see as inadequacies in the text” (Love &Pimm, 1996), manyRobert F.

Cunningham

The college of New Jersey.

Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics Preparation of School Teachers

teachers leave what they believe to be well enough alone since a textbook

“organizes themathematics curriculum… [and] it also organizes the work of the

classroom” (Love & Pimm,1996). Hershkowitz (1987) found that “The textbook

and the teacher present mostly theprototypes”. Hence, confusions that occur

among many students “are not [always] stupidity onthe part of the students”

(Tall, 1988). Teaching and learning with a deficient textbook is aconcern since it

may further impede students’ conceptual understanding.

Some of the same difficulties experienced by students (Fuys et. al, 1985;

Hershkowitz, 1987;Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1980) have also been shown to be a

challenge for pre-service teachers(Gutierrez & Jaime, 1999; Hershkowitz, 1987;

Mason & Schell, 1988; Mayberry, 1981).

Researchers have reported that “pre-service elementary teachers do not possess

the level ofmathematical understanding necessary to teach elementary school

mathematics as recommendedin various proclamations from professional

organizations such as [National Council of Teachersof Mathematics] NCTM”

(Brown, Cooney & Jones, 1990). Mason and Spence attribute some ofthe

difficulties in understanding mathematics with the tendency to compartmentalize

Page 16

rather thanto form connections which is what is needed for the highest level of

knowledge referred to asknow-to act (1999). Consequently, elementary pre-

service teachers may lack the level ofmathematics knowledge (Brown et al.,

1990) needed to supplement textbook deficiencies.Because of the primary role

played by geometry textbooks in conceptual understanding, further study was

warranted.

Many researchers have examined teachers’ knowledge and the roles knowledge

plays inshaping teaching practices (Borko& Putnam, 1996; Schoenfeld, 2000;

Schoenfeld, Minstrell, &van Zee, 1999; Sherin, 2002; Shulman, 1986). In such

an approach, knowledge is seen as one ofseveral factors influencing teachers’

goals and their approaches to accomplishing those goals asthey plan for and enact

instruction. While it is undoubtedly the case that teachers needknowledge of

mathematics content, researchers have found it challenging to

establishrelationships between measures of teachers’ content knowledge and

student achievement (Ball,Lubienski, &Mewborn, 2001; Wilson, Floden,

&Ferrini-Mundy, 2002). Teachers’ having morecourses in content is not strongly

correlated with higher achievement for their students (Begle,1979; Monk, 1994).

These and other findings about knowledge resources teachers use havedirected

attention to other kinds of knowledge. Of particular note are influences

researchers havefound of PCK and SCK.PCK is the label used to describe what

teachers know about (among other things) whichtopics typically cause students

difficulty, how different ideas tie together and are organized incurricula, and how

particular examples or explanations can be useful in teaching particularconcepts.

Since the identification of this type of knowledge (Grossman, Wilson, &

Shulman,1989; Shulman, 1986), researchers have found that PCK plays

important roles in teachers’practices and the learning opportunities such practices

create for students. For example,researchers have shown that teachers’

knowledge of the different strategies that their studentswould use to approach

problems is positively correlated with student achievement (Fennemaetal., 1996).

In addition to having PCK at one’s disposal, Ball and colleagues have identified

differenttypes of mathematical knowledge needed for teaching. CCK is the

mathematical “knowledge ofa kind used in a wide variety of settings – in other

Page 17

words not unique to teaching; these are notspecialized understandings but are

questions that typically would be answerable by others whoknow mathematics”

(Ball, Hoover Thames, & Phelps, 2008, p. 399). On top of this

knowledgecommon to others, teachers use SCK to engage in a type of

mathematical work to follow andunderstand students’ ideas and solution

strategies. SCK is “the mathematical knowledge‘entailed by teaching’ – in other

words, mathematical knowledge needed to perform the recurrenttasks of teaching

mathematics to students” (Ball et al, 2008, p. 399). These mathematical

tasksinclude following students’ mathematical thinking, evaluating the validity of

student-generatedstrategies, and making sense of student-generated solution

paths. Researchers have examined theknowledge needed to do this work and

found connections between teachers’ possession of thisknowledge and

elementary students’ achievement (Ball & Bass, 2000; Carpenter,

Fennema,Peterson, Chiang, &Loef, 1989; Franke&Kazemi, 2001; Hill, Ball, &

Schilling, 2008; Hill,Rowan, & Ball, 2005; Hill, Schilling, & Ball, 2004). It is

widely acknowledged that the work of mathematics teaching draws upon a deep

andbroad knowledge base, including knowledge of mathematics, pedagogy, and

student learning(Fennema&Franke, 1992; National Board for Professional

Teaching Standards, 1997; NationalCouncil of Teachers of Mathematics

[NCTM], 1991; Shulman, 1986).Mathematics teachersare a special class of users

of mathematics; the knowledge they need to teach mathematics goesbeyond what

is needed by other well-educated adults, including mathematicians (Ball, Bass,

&Hill, 2004; Ball, Lubienski, &Mewborn, 2001; Ball, Thames, & Phelps, 2008).

As described byHill, Rowan, and Ball (2005):

1) Jones, K. (2000), Teacher Knowledge and Professional Development in

Geometry, Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning

Mathematics, 20(3), 109-114.

2) Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Heather Hill, Hyman Bass Laurie Sleep, Imani

Masters Goffney, Mark Thames University of Michigan.

Learning Mathematics for Teaching/Study of Instructional Improvement

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics ,April 5, 2005

,Anaheim,California

Page 18

3) Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching and the Mathematical Quality of

Instruction: An Exploratory Study .

Heather C. Hill a ,Merrie L. Blunkb , CharalambosY.Charalambousb ,

Jennifer M. Lewis b , Geoffrey C.Phelpsb , Laurie Sleep b & Deborah

LoewenbergBallaHarvard Graduate School of Education ,b University of

Michigan School of Education ,Published online: 26 Sep 2008.

Assumptions:

Geometry.

2) Other Science graduate Student teachers fail to explain the meaning of a

Geometrical concept and its relation with other concepts and to generate

explanations or other representations for that concept.

3) Other Science graduate Student teachers cannot explain the reasons for

certain mathematical procedures.

4) Other Science graduate Student teachers knowledge about particular

Geometrical concepts often is not complete or correct.

Hypothesis:

Research Hypothesis:

Mean Score of B.Sc.(Mathematics) student teachers is more than other

science graduate student teachers.

Null Hypothesis:

There is no significant difference in Mean Scores of B.Sc.(Mathematics)

student teachersandother science graduate student teachers.

Research Methodology:

Multiple Method will be used for present Research.

Objective Sampling Analysis

Method Tools Sample

no Method Technique

8 colleges Stratified

1. Qualitative Questionnaire Percentage

200 students sampling

Page 19

40

B.SC.(mathematics) Purposive Percentage

2. Quantitative Test

and 40 other sampling Mean score

science graduate

Research Design:

A quantitative study design was selected since the purpose of this study concerns

pre-servicesecondary teachers' knowledge and their levels of geometric thinking.

In the quantitativedesign, responses to the multiple-choice geometry test items

are the data sources. The multiple-choicetest items are coded by Usiskin’s (1982)

grading system, which allows the researchers toeasily classify the participants’

responses into different levels.

Theoretical Framework:

of science graduate teacher having specialization in mathematics and other. The

reason behind choosing this subject is that when science graduate teacher came in

service at secondary level the work allotted him not depends on his subject of

specialization(Science graduatesother than specialization in mathematics given

task to teach mathematics at 9th &10th). Their knowledge of subject and subject

matter i.e. common content knowledge and special content knowledge is not

sufficient to reach the goal of teaching.

In this research the sample is selected from B.Ed. colleges of Pune

city.From these colleges 80 science graduate student teachers will be selected on

the random basis. Out of which 40 students are B.Sc. (mathematics) and 40 other

science graduates.

A valid test (Usiskin, 1982) will be given to 80 students of various

colleges. On the basis of test data will be analysed and interpretation of the data

will be brought in to the focus and later on findings will be written and

recommendations will be given to each part of educational field.

Page 20

Action Plan:

Selection of Problem

Proposal Preparation & Presentation

Finalisation of tools

Permission of an Educational Head

Survey of B.Ed. Students

Analysis of collected data of the survey

Development & Validation of Programme

Administration of the Test

Data analysis & interpretation of data

Findings

Population:

All the Student-teachers of B.Ed. colleges in the state of Maharashtra.

Sampling

Research Method Sample Technique Size

Method

200

Random Stratified From B.Ed.

Qualitative

sampling sampling Colleges of Pune

city

80

( 40 B.Sc.

Non Probability Purposive

Quantitative Mathematics and

Sampling sampling

40 other Science

graduates)

andforInstitutional Heads.

Page 21

2) Test : For B.Ed. Students teacher –To Study content

knowledge

Both descriptive and inferential statistics will be used. It will include:

1) Tabulation

2) Graphical Presentation

3) Percentage

4) T-Test

Scope:

1) A research is related to Geometry ( Case of Triangles)

2) A research will be useful to all schools , B.Ed. Training colleges and for

further research work.

Limitations:

student teachers of Pune city only.

Delimitations:

2) The study will be delimited for 80 students of 8 Education College.

3) The study will be dlimited for one acadmic year.

4) Variables: In this research there is no variable.

Geometry. For teaching of Geometry the basic concepts and strong

subject matter is needed for skilled teaching and learning.

Page 22

Possible Knowledge Contribution:

educator , curriculum developer and for the selection committee members

of the institution for recruitment of teachers.

Timetable/Research Schedule:

1 Data Collection 2 months

2 Creation of test 6 Months

Administration of

3 8 Months

Programme

4 Analysis of Data 6 Months

5 Report writing 6 Months

6 Typing & Binding 2 Months

Total 30 Months

Expenditure:

1 Travelling 20000

2 Creation of tools 15000

3 Data Collection 10000

4 Report writing 10000

Typing, Printing&

5 10000

Binding

Total 65000

References:

Mathematics 8 (2), 31-35.

In Balacheff, N. (1988).Aspects of proof in pupils’ practice of school

mathematics.

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