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Attention and Intention in Learning About Teaching Through Teaching

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Learning Through Teaching Mathematics

Part of the book series: Mathematics Teacher Education ((MTEN,volume 5))

Abstract

Two components of the human psyche, attention and intention, are used to expose aspects of teaching that can be learned from being awake to and aware of what is happening while teaching. The case is made that in order to learn from experience it is necessary to do more than engage in activity: It is necessary to withdraw from the action and reflect upon or reconstruct salient moments (distanciation), in order to prepare to act differently in the future. It is useful therefore to distinguish between reacting through habit to triggers in a situation and responding through invoking actions intentionally. By working with and on attention, and by sharpening and focusing intentions, it is possible to learn from experience.

The data offered consists of incidents from the reader’s past experience brought to the surface through metaphoric resonance and metonymic triggering stimulated by some typical phenomena from teaching, learning, and doing mathematics. Various metaphors for learning and teaching and for the human psyche are brought to the surface and used, along with classic constructs in mathematics education, for analysis of this “data.”

The chapter uses the constructs and relationships exposed through the analysis to suggest what it is that teachers can do for students, for themselves, and for each other, in order to learn through teaching mathematics.

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Mason, J. (2010). Attention and Intention in Learning About Teaching Through Teaching. In: Leikin, R., Zazkis, R. (eds) Learning Through Teaching Mathematics. Mathematics Teacher Education, vol 5. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3990-3_2

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