Here is the last forward today from the AMTE discussion of the same topic currently on the NCTM-l. Please delete if you are already a subscriber to AMTE listserv.
From JimH@edc.org Fri Aug 4 20:19:58 1995 From: JimH@edc.org Date: Fri, 04 Aug 95 21:21:06 EST Encoding: 35 Text To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Re: Constructivist Approach
I think a discussion about these issues is a great idea...
I'm struck by Deann Huinker's sense that the availability of these multiple levels in teacher education represents a *dilemma*. She wrote:
"I think we have a dilemma in teacher education . . . we want to use constructivist approaches ourselves (whatever they may be) to help our students in their development of becoming teachers and we also want them to understand how students construct knowledge of mathematics. Thus we are dealing with the issue of constructivism at different levels: (1) What does it mean for our own instructional approaches in a methods class? (2) What does it mean for our prospective teachers and their instructional approaches in an elementary/middle/secondary classroom? (3) What does it mean for children's learning?"
I see these levels as providing an opportunity to *build* on what we know about how people learn and teach across these multiple contexts. We can look critically at our own teaching of mathematics and of pedagogy (as well as at the
teaching of our teacher-students) as a source of data about learning and teaching. Are we courageous enough to put our own teaching up for analysis and collegial critique? How do we create communities of discourse in which doing so
is seen as an opportunity to grow and learn?
Also, my experience is that even practicing teachers (at least at an elementary and middle school level--I don't have experience with secondary level teachers) often need a more robust understanding of the *mathematics* they teach, as well as a chance to look anew at how students learn and how their teaching can facilitate such robust learning. Giving pre-service or in-service teachers a chance to learn mathematics themselves provides yet another "level" of analysis for learning about learning and teaching. Comparing their learning of mathematics in a methods course with their math learning in other contexts can be very thought-provoking.