Learning to pose mathematical problems: Exploring changes in preservice teachers' practices
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Learning to pose mathematical tasks is one of the challenges of learning to teach mathematics. How and when preservice teachers may learn this essential practice,however, is not at all clear. This paper reports on a study that examined the changes in the problem posing strategies of a group of elementary preservice teachers as they posed problems to pupils. It reports that their later problem posing practices significantly differed from their earlier ones. Rather than posing traditional single steps and computational problems, these preservice teachers ventured into posing problems that had multiple approaches and solutions, were open-ended and exploratory, and were cognitively more complex. Their problem posing style also changed. Rather than making adaptations that made students' work easier or narrowed the mathematical scope of the problem, their adaptations became less leading and less focused on avoiding pupils' errors. Posing problems to an authentic audience, engaging in collaborative posing, and having access and opportunities to explore new kinds of problems are highlighted as important factors in promoting and supporting the reported changes.
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