Secondary mathematics teacher education: a methods course syllabus
The purpose of this study was to learn more about how secondary mathematics teachers are educated in reform-oriented methods courses and use the results to inform the creation of a methods' course syllabus. The research questions were: (1) What does research suggest should be the goals of preservice education for secondary mathematics teachers? (2) How does the content of secondary mathematics methods courses connect with those goals? (3) How do secondary mathematics methods instructors reflect on the effectiveness of their own course activities in meeting those goals? (4) How can the results of this study inform the creation of a secondary mathematics course syllabus? The literature concerned with enhancing pre-service teacher (PT) education indicated three goals: (1) challenging preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning, (2) enhancing PTs' conceptual understanding of the mathematics, and (3) developing PTs' pedagogical content knowledge. These goals act as the conceptual framework for this study. The data consisted of eight methods instructor interviews, their course syllabi, and their institutions' demographic information. Within case results indicate that: field-based activities are more effective than classroom-based activities, learning math at a conceptual level is most effective when examining specific concepts drawn from PTs' immediate needs and interests, peer teaching and unit planning are the most prevalent activities mentioned by participants, and 20% of the activities mentioned by participants addressed all three goals. There was no consensus concerning a set canon of knowledge. The cross case findings revealed a structure for those activities considered effective by participants. This structure, an Effective Activity Cycle, contains three components. All three were present in activities considered effective, while components were missing in those considered not effective. The cycle provided a foundation for developing the secondary mathematics methods course syllabus.
- Education - Seattle