ICME 8 - Topic Group 19

Presentation Summary

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This is an abstract of a presentation at The 8th International Congress on Math Education (ICME 8), July 14-21, 1996 in Seville, Spain..

Teacher's Learning Needs in a Computer-based Geometric Environment

Constructivist perspectives have been central to much of recent research in mathematics education and provides the underpinnings for the reform movement of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Constructivism has provided mathematics educators with ways of understanding learning, but the research does not provide mathematics educators with direction on how to reconstruct mathematics pedagogy on the basis of the constructivist view of learning. Limited research has been undertaken in mathematics teacher education that has focussed on the development of theoretical frameworks for mathematics pedagogy consistent with constructivism.

This study proposes to determine what beliefs, supports and knowledge do teachers need to accommodate their evolving role as educators in a technological environment. I have designed the study with an emphasis on assisting the participants to identify their own learning needs. In this way, the learning needs of the teacher will be defined by the individual and not by the method of the study nor the perceived biases of the researcher. Four teachers integrated the Geometer's Sketchpad program into their Grade 8 mathematics classroom to teach geometric constructions.

These accounts will be useful to other teachers who may find themselves attempting to integrate computers into their classrooms so that they can be helped to understand the supports that other teachers have needed in similar situations. Secondly, the findings will inform teacher educators and administrators about the personal/professional nature of growth and contributes to the general discussion surrounding some initial assumptions and prerequisites for effective teacher change. Finally, it may serve the research community by providing a further perspective on how teachers grow and develop in the personal and professional milieu.

D. McDougall, dmcdougall@oise.utoronto.ca

The complete article associated with this presentation is also available.

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