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Reconstructing teachers of mathematics. (English)
Schuck, Sandy (ed.) et al., What counts in teaching mathematics. Adding value to self and content. Berlin: Springer (ISBN 978-94-007-0460-2/hbk; 978-94-007-0461-9/ebook). Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices 11, 145-159 (2011).
Summary: Reform pedagogy in mathematics requires teachers to reconstruct themselves as learners of mathematics at the same time as they reconstruct themselves as teachers of mathematics. Using data from a middle school geometry course for practicing teachers, I identify difficulties encountered as I tried to help teachers learn mathematics in a new way. Teachers have strong emotions ‒ including their fears of failure, of exposure, and of inadequacy-and their frustration with learning can end up disempowering them. They have strong beliefs about what mathematics is and some well-entrenched habits for teaching it. In particular, they often feel that reform methods will require them to give up control, a feeling that, though inaccurate, is widespread and powerful. As a result, any curriculum designed to reacquaint teachers with who they are as learners and teachers of mathematics will inevitably expand beyond the intellectual aims of the objective content to include emotions inherent in the teaching and learning process. Because this is also true for me, I examine dilemmas and tensions I experienced when teachers did not meet my expectations. I conclude by arguing that what transfers most powerfully from my classroom to theirs is the emotional experience of learning.
Classification: B50 G10 C79 D40
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