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When mathematics teachers focus discussions on slope: Swedish upper secondary teachers in a professional development initiative
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics Education.
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The shift towards collegiality is a new setting for many teachers. Most teachers work alone, in isolation from their colleagues and collegial collaboration requires organisational structures. The aim of the study is to describe and analyse upper secondary mathematics teachers’ collective practice,developed in a professional development initiative. This study is a case study and the empirical data is generated through observations and an interview of a group of four teachers at a school who met on a weekly basis throughout a term. Their discussions focused on the mathematical concept of slope in a setting of learning study. This thesis is the case of when mathematics teachers focus discussions on slope and draws on Wenger’s Communities of Practice Perspective, as a unitof analysis, and addresses the question: What are the characteristics of practice when upper secondary mathematics teachers focus discussions on slope in the setting of a learning study? The analysis accounts for characteristics of the aspects of practice, through the coherence of mutual engagement, joint enterprise and shared repertoire in the community of practice. The teachers are engaged around finding small changes in their teaching that could give major effect in students learning. They negotiate what the students need to know in order to understand the relation between Δy and Δx. The characteristic of practice is a conceptual mapping of the concept of slope. It reveals students’ partial understanding of related concepts due to how they were given meaning through previous teaching. The conceptual mapping of slope goes back as far as to the student’s partial understanding of the meaning of subtraction. However, what emerges is in relation to the teachers’ experience of avoiding students’ difficulties with negative difference when teaching slope. It turns out to be a negotiation and a renegotiation of teaching slope for instrumental understanding or conceptual understanding. An overall characteristic of practice is that it develops in a present teaching culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus university , 2014. , 108 p.
Licentiatavhandling, 25
Keyword [en]
teacher professional development, upper secondary mathematics teachers, collegiality, slope, rate of change, teaching culture, community of practice, learning study
National Category
Research subject
Mathematics, Mathematical Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-38561ISBN: 978-91-87427-97-8OAI: diva2:769947
2014-06-12, 11:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2014-12-09 Last updated: 2015-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Bengtsson, Anna
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