ERIC Number: ED320850
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Inservice Teacher Education in Mathematics: Examining the Interaction of Context and Content. Research Report 89-3.
Ball, Deborah Loewenberg; Wilcox, Sandra K.
This paper illustrates an approach to analyzing the content and contexts of inservice teacher education programs. Two inservice programs in mathematics for elementary teachers are compared. One program is part of a large urban school district's initiative to revise its mathematics curriculum. The other program is conducted by a local college; participants come from a number of demographically varied school districts. Despite these differences, the two programs appear to share the goal of teaching mathematics for conceptual understanding. They also face some predictably similar obstacles in attaining that goal: traditional views of mathematics and mathematics teaching and learning, the organization of schools and the conditions of elementary school teaching, elementary teachers' knowledge and skill. The analysis focuses on the interaction of each program's context and content. The analysis of context deals with factors of organization, surroundings, time, and timing, that contributed to shaping the conditions for teachers' learning. Both the settings of the inservice sessions themselves and the settings of the participating teachers' practice are analyzed. In examining program content, the analysis focuses on the programs' goal of teaching mathematics for understanding--what each program meant by this goal, and what they thought teachers needed to know in order to teach for understanding, as well as their assumptions about how teachers would learn this. The paper concludes with a discussion of the interaction of context and content in inservice teacher education and raises questions critical for researchers interested in the effects of different approaches to working with practicing teachers as well as for policymakers and researchers intent on changing practice. (Author)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Course Content, Educational Environment, Elementary Education, Inservice Teacher Education, Learning Strategies, Mathematics Instruction, Program Evaluation, Teaching Methods
National Center for Research on Teacher Education, 116 Erickson Hall, College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($4.75).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Teacher Education, East Lansing, MI.