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Support for mathematics teachers’ change: Examining catalysts for teacher learning and role of the teacher in professional development programmes
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5259-2712
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When the perception changes regarding what mathematics students should be able to manage, this is typically addressed through a new national curriculum. To establish and implement this new curriculum in practice, teachers must be given the opportunity to change according to it. For such change, they need support in interpreting and implementing the new curriculum. Typically, there are two common ways to support teacher change: (1) developing and launching curriculum materials that correspond to the national curriculum; and (2) implementing professional development programmes (PDPs) that correspond to the new national curriculum. This thesis includes both aspects and aims to contribute to research on support for mathematics teachers’ change. This aim is operationalized by: (1) studying mathematics textbooks in which tasks and plausible teaching intentions are analysed; (2) studying teacher agency in collegial discussions in relation to the design of a PDP; and (3) mapping and describing catalysts for teacher learning from PDPs in research literature. These studies resulted in five papers, which are included in this thesis. The main results of the papers cover: the distribution of types of tasks in Swedish mathematics textbooks; the type of learning approach advocated in these textbooks; how different types of texts in PDPs relate to teacher agency in collegial discussions; and an identification and description of catalysts for teacher learning from PDPs for mathematics teachers. In the kappa1 of this thesis, these results are merged and discussed in relation to different models of teacher change. The focus in the kappa is on examining catalysts for teacher learning from such initiatives and the role of the teacher in PDPs. This examination suggests elaborations on parts of a conceptual framework for effective PDPs (Desimone, 2009). More precisely, the elaborations concern core critical features for effective PDPs, presented in this framework: Content Focus, Active Learning, Collective Participation, Duration, and Coherence. The main contributions of this thesis concern: a tool for analysing tasks in textbooks with respect to problem-solving tasks; an organizing frame for mapping learning catalysts from articles describing PDPs; a description of catalysts for teacher learning from PDPs as specifications of core critical features for effective PDPs; and the role of the teacher in PDPs as a catalyst for learning. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

___________________________

1The Swedish term kappa will be used in this thesis in the absence of an equivalent English term for the introductory chapters of an aggregation dissertation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2019.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 298
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45360ISBN: 978-91-7485-442-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-45360DiVA, id: diva2:1356959
Public defence
2019-11-13, Kappa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Problem solving in Swedish mathematics textbooks for upper secondary school
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Problem solving in Swedish mathematics textbooks for upper secondary school
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 60, no 6, p. 577-593Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to analyse how mathematical problem solving is represented in mathematical textbooks for Swedish upper secondary school. The analysis comprises dominating Swedish textbook series, and relates to uncovering (a) the quantity of tasks that are actually mathematical problems, (b) their location in the chapter, (c) their difficulty level, and (d) their context. Based on an analysis of 5,722 tasks from the area of calculus, it is concluded that the textbooks themselves contain very few tasks that can be defined as mathematical problems, and that those that are mathematical problems are found at the end of a chapter at the most difficult level, and are presented in a pure mathematical context. Implications are discussed.

Keywords
mathematics textbooks, problem solving, textbook analysis, upper secondary school
National Category
Humanities Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27748 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2015.1066427 (DOI)000385694500001 ()2-s2.0-84938633425 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved
2. Tasks in mathematics textbooks: teaching intentions and separating problem-solving tasks from exercises
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tasks in mathematics textbooks: teaching intentions and separating problem-solving tasks from exercises
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this article, an analytical tool for distinguishing between exercises and mathematical problems in textbooks is presented and elaborated on. This elaboration then lays the foundation for a discussion of plausible teaching intentions of different types of tasks in the textbook. The discussion is based on a task’s feasible teaching function according to its placement, context, and level of difficulty. Five examples of tasks are discussed, and eight plausible teaching intentions based on these examples are described. From the discussion, it is concluded that the compilation of teaching intentions together constitutes an overarching teaching intention. This overarching intention conveys a picture of learning mathematics by solving exercising tasks (following solved examples) as a means to be able to solve (future) mathematical problem tasks – learning mathematics for, rather than through, problem solving. Implications are discussed.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45359 (URN)
Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved
3. Teacher agency in professional development programmes – A case study of professional development material and collegial discussion
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teacher agency in professional development programmes – A case study of professional development material and collegial discussion
2019 (English)In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, ISSN 2210-6561, E-ISSN 2210-657X, Vol. 23, article id 100330Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article offers insight into teacher agency in professional development programmes, focusing on a national policy initiative in Sweden aiming to provide in-depth professional development for mathematics teachers. Data was produced from video observations from two collegial discussions with one group of teachers, during the professional development programme. We closely analyse forms of agency in the collegial discussions in relation to the affordances of the professional development materials. The analysis shows a complex relationship between possibilities for independent judgement as constructed in curriculum materials, teachers' agency, and the coach's role in collegial discussions. Contrary to previous research, the findings indicate that opportunities for facilitating enactment in professional development materials do not necessarily lead to teacher agency. The results of the study are discussed in relation to the Swedish educational context. ©

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd, 2019
Keywords
Agency, Collegial learning, Professional development materials, Professional development programmes, Teacher agency
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45097 (URN)10.1016/j.lcsi.2019.100330 (DOI)2-s2.0-85070757698 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-08-28 Created: 2019-08-28 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved
4. Towards an organizing frame for mapping teachers' learning in professional development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards an organizing frame for mapping teachers' learning in professional development
2018 (English)In: Nordic Research in Mathematics Education: Papers of NORMA17 / [ed] Eva Norén, Hanna Palmér, Audrey Cooke, Göteborg, 2018, p. 229-237Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In their claim that teachers’ learning is treated as a “black box” in research on

professional development programs for mathematics teachers, Goldsmith, Doerr,

& Lewis (2014) call for “an organizing framework that clearly distinguishes

dimensions of teachers’ learning and identifies catalysts of teachers’ learning…”

(p. 23). The aim of this study is to present initial efforts to construct a framework

for categorizing descriptions of activities designed to support teachers’ learning

as presented in research articles within mathematics education. Based on existing

literature on professional development and examination of research articles, an

organizing frame is constructed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: , 2018
Series
Skrifter från Svensk förening för matematikdidaktisk forskning, ISSN 1651-3274 ; 12
Keywords
Professional development, teacher learning, mathematics teacher
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-41056 (URN)978-91-984024-1-4 (ISBN)
Conference
NORMA17: The Eighth Nordic Conference on Mathematics Education
Available from: 2018-09-28 Created: 2018-09-28 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved
5. Catalysts for mathematics teachers’ learning from professional development programmes: a review of 64 journal articles in mathematics education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Catalysts for mathematics teachers’ learning from professional development programmes: a review of 64 journal articles in mathematics education
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In their review, Goldsmith, Doerr and Lewis (2014) note that research on professional development programmes (PDPs) for mathematics teachers mostly concerns whether a programme has affected the teachers’ practice or student learning, while the teachers’ learning is treated as a black box. In light of this, they call for a ‘… shared body of knowledge about the nature of teachers’ learning and the catalysts that support it’ (p. 25). In this article, we examine and map 64 articles from mathematics education journals with respect to prerequisites for learning. From this mapping, we identify and describe catalysts for teacher learning from PDPs for mathematics teachers. These learning catalysts are then used to characterize two different types PDPs, based on which learning catalysts are used in them. Typical of PDPs targeting increased teacher knowledge is that they: emphasize knowledge of content and teaching and knowledge of content and students; manage this content through cooperation; and promote insight and/or body of knowledge as catalysts for learning. Typical of PDPs targeting changed instruction is that they: emphasize knowledge of content and teaching as well as following strategies by doing/experimenting when establishing it in the classroom as a catalyst for learning. Conclusions and implications are discussed.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45358 (URN)
Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2019-10-23 08:00
Available from 2019-10-23 08:00

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Brehmer, Daniel

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