In this chapter, we discuss research that investigated what, how, and with what possible effects, mathematical knowledge and related practices are constituted in and across a range of programmes, across diverse teacher training institutions in South Africa. Our study includes three cases from three different teacher education sites where teachers were enrolled in in-service upgrading programmes. Our focus is on what comes to be the content of mathematics for teaching; that is, the mathematical content and practices offered in these courses, and how this occurs. In the chapter, we describe our observations and the analytic resources recruited to that end, building on our previous work. We argue that three different orientations to learning mathematics for teaching are exhibited across our cases and present different opportunities for learning mathematics in and for teaching.
- Teacher Education
- Mathematics Teaching
- Mathematics Teacher
- Mathematical Knowledge
- School Mathematics
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QUANTUM is the name given to a Research and Development project on quality mathematical education for teachers in South Africa. The development arm of QUANTUM focused on qualifications for teachers underqualified in mathematics (hence the name) and completed its tasks in 2003. QUANTUM continues as a research project.
In South Africa, teachers are required to obtain a 4-year post-school qualification in education to practice. Those teachers who obtained only 3 (or fewer) year qualifications under previous dispensations are now required to enrol for further study on in-service programmes to ‘upgrade’ their teaching qualifications.
Most of the teachers on this programme were initially trained to teach in primary schools and were upgrading a 3-year qualification and improving their level of teaching. A design principle of the course was that by learning to teach algebra, the teachers would themselves have opportunities to (re)learn algebra.
More generally, it is interesting to note that in instances such as these there is a question of the integrity of the metaphor with respect to the mathematical idea being ‘exemplified’. This specific point is a general concern in mathematics education where the everyday is frequently recruited to invest mathematical objects and notions with meaning. Given the intelligible nature of mathematical ideas, this presents teachers with difficulties of finding useful and meaningful metaphors.
For example, a deep knowledge of the school mathematics required by the new curriculum, or professional competence such as an ability to produce a year plan based on a curriculum document.
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This chapter forms part of the QUANTUM research project on Mathematics for Teaching, directed by Jill Adler, at the University of the Witwatersrand. This material is based upon work supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) under Grant number FA2006031800003. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NRF.
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Adler, J., Davis, Z. (2011). Modelling Teaching in Mathematics Teacher Education and the Constitution of Mathematics for Teaching. In: Rowland, T., Ruthven, K. (eds) Mathematical Knowledge in Teaching. Mathematics Education Library, vol 50. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9766-8_9
Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht
Print ISBN: 978-90-481-9765-1
Online ISBN: 978-90-481-9766-8