• Learning to teach mathematics: navigating the landscape of teacher education

      Bamber, Sally (University of Chester, 2015-07)
      Metaphor provides a potentially powerful rhetorical device to help me to tell informed and persuasive stories about mathematics education. In this ethnographic study I consider key episodes that serve to exemplify the complex experience of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students of secondary mathematics education. I use a narrative analysis to shine a spotlight on the experiences of six beginning teachers so that the metaphors in their stories expose the impact that separately situated sites of teacher education have upon their beliefs and behaviour as teachers. Tensions between school and university contributors to teacher education have been well documented over many decades, but recent policy changes in the nature of post-graduate ITE in England bring these issues to the fore. In this study, I consider the influences of school-based and university-based teacher educators upon the beliefs of student secondary mathematics teachers and interpret the students’ perceptions of these influences on their actions as novice teachers. My analysis is framed by a model of experience and education articulated by Dewey as well as a framework of representations of knowledge in a culture of education articulated by theorists concerned with the relevance of constructivism and situated cognition as theories of learning. In this study, disturbances and discontinuities relating to the location and culture of ITE, together with the development of ITE students’ professional knowledge are uncovered, warranting further research.
    • Raising attainment of middle-lower attainment GCSE students

      Bamber, Sally; University of Chester
      Year 11 students throughout England are currently attending ‘'intervention’' classes designed to raise their mathematics attainment ahead of their GCSE examinations, using methods of instruction that seem to have proven unsuccessful the first time they were taught concepts, and then again, unsuccessfully, in subsequent lessons. This paper reports on a study of one class of lower to middle attaining Year 11 GCSE students who have been taught algebraic concepts using multiple representations and using teaching designed to allow them to reason from key known facts. Qualitative data from lesson observation, student and teacher interviews and students’ work is analysed to begin to construct a narrative interpretation of this small-scale classroom enquiry. This analysis demonstrates some promising outcomes in terms of pupils’ perceptions of learning mathematics and their use of iconic representations of concepts.
    • Translating research into practice through collaborative planning: The case of the so called grid method

      Bamber, Sally; University of Chester
      Drawing on research that informs transformative teacher education, this paper will report on an ongoing study that develops mathematics teachers’ knowledge and practice collaboratively. This paper accounts the experiences of a group of Welsh secondary school educators participating in collaborative classroom enquiry designed to develop GCSE students’ understanding of linear and quadratic algebraic expressions. The paper identifies the potential to disturb and improve learning through the use of enactive and iconic representations of algebraic concepts, whilst identifying tensions that arise in the act of changing the context for learning in a secondary school classroom.