, Volume 10, Issue 4-6, pp 301-309
Date: 07 Nov 2007

Using Tasks to Explore Teacher Knowledge in Situation-Specific Contexts

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Abstract

Research often reports an overt discrepancy between theoretically/out-of context expressed teacher beliefs about mathematics and pedagogy and actual practice. In order to explore teacher knowledge in situation-specific contexts we have engaged mathematics teachers with classroom scenarios (Tasks) which: are hypothetical but grounded on learning and teaching issues that previous research and experience have highlighted as seminal; are likely to occur in actual practice; have purpose and utility; and, can be used both in (pre- and in-service) teacher education and research through generating access to teachers’ views and intended practices. The Tasks have the following structure: reflecting upon the learning objectives within a mathematical problem (and solving it); examining a flawed (fictional) student solution; and, describing, in writing, feedback to the student. Here we draw on the written responses to one Task (which involved reflecting on solutions of \( {\left| x \right|} + {\left| {x - 1} \right|} = 0 \) ) of 53 Greek in-service mathematics teachers in order to demonstrate the range of teacher knowledge (mathematical, didactical and pedagogical) that engagement with these tasks allows us to explore.