Improving Mathematics Instruction in Communities---A Case Study of Two Teaching Research Groups in a Chinese Elementary School

Improving Mathematics Instruction in Communities---A Case Study of Two Teaching Research Groups in a Chinese Elementary School

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In this dissertation I adopt an ethnographic approach to examining and understanding what seven Chinese elementary mathematics teachers did in their school-based teaching research groups and related communities, and how what they did influenced their teaching practice. I consider a teaching research group as a community and practice that is a common sub-organization in most Chinese elementary and secondary schools. A teaching research group is located in an institutional context. In this study the participant teachers from two teaching research groups took part in the professional activities offered by intermediate teams that included other math teachers from several schools and by the district. The situative theoretical perspective on teacher learning and professional development allows me to use several key concepts to examine the phenomenon of teachers' professional communities, including joint work, tools as learning resources, collegial relations and a regime of competence. I argue that the teachers' joint work of public lesson contributes to teacher learning and instructional improvement in three ways: enhancing the teachers' math knowledge for teaching and knowledge of instruction; enabling the use of tools as learning resources; and having the teachers realize their weaknesses of teaching competence. In addition, I find that the dynamics of collegial relations among the teachers is conducive to teacher learning and instructional improvement. Meanwhile, a teacher who acts as a boundary broker across the different communities can bring in learning opportunities for colleagues and expand their visions of teaching and learning. In the end I point out some problems with the teaching research groups and implications for the future.In her first draft of the lesson plan, Ms. Pu designed a practice problem: Whata#39;s the digit in the tens place of the sum? 57+8=a5, 6+54=u0. Where does the extra one in the tens place come fromT When she and her first grade TRG colleagues collectively reviewed the lesson plan, Ms. Zhang ... Ms. Pu explained that she wanted to present two concepts a€” the digit in the tens place and place value. She usedanbsp;...


Title:Improving Mathematics Instruction in Communities---A Case Study of Two Teaching Research Groups in a Chinese Elementary School
Author: Xue Han
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007
ISBN-13:

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