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Title:Paradigm development among practicing school mathematics teachers
Author(s):Pobre, Eleanor Andres
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Travers, Kenneth J.
Department / Program:Education, Mathematics
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Education, Mathematics
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This study explored the personal histories of four practicing school mathematics teachers in order to gain insight and a holistic understanding of the cognitive, affective, and social processes involved in their lives that relate to the development of their views about the nature of mathematics and how to teach it. One teacher was in fifth grade, two in high school, and one in college. Their teaching experiences ranged from 13 to 25 years. These individuals were recognized as having broad views of the nature of mathematics and as being exemplary classroom teachers.
Four to five semi-structured interviews with each teacher were taped, transcribed, and analyzed. Major thrusts were identified from the interview data. Questions were developed around those thrusts to serve as the basis for the subsequent data collection. Based on the information gathered, a time line was constructed for each teacher, thus providing the mainframe for each professional biography.
Themes and patterns within each individual case were identified. The teachers' habits, attitudes, concerns, conflicts, assumptions, motivations, aspirations, and morale were taken into account. The "essence" for each teacher was developed from these categories.
Each teacher's portrait was developed, which included his or her biographical sketch, essence or inner core, and basic views about mathematics and mathematics teaching. Conclusions were drawn from the comparison across all four cases.
The single most important common thread to the four teachers' stories and a key element to their openness to new ideas about mathematics and teaching is that of their core motivations. The teachers view the classroom as an arena for them to make a difference in people's lives, if not in the world. Each works at a different level of focus: Teacher A is committed at the level of the individual learner, Teacher C at the classroom level, and Teacher B at the social level. Mathematics is the vehicle by which they accomplish their goals. These three teachers have a special commitment to the educational process, but not to a specific subject matter. Only Teacher D is motivated by the discipline of mathematics.
Despite the differences in their foci, these teachers have an enduring commitment to make a difference through education. For this reason, they are open to learning and are not afraid to try out new ideas that help them accomplish their purposes.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Pobre, Eleanor Andres
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9625180
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9625180

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