Title

A study on reflective teaching of mathematics in the Pakistani context

Date of Award

8-1-2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Professional development of teachers takes many forms, all aiming at a long-lasting qualitative change in teachers' thinking and approaches to educating. Reflective teaching is one of the professional development strategies teachers can use to search for better ways of knowing and teaching mathematics. Reflective teaching involves reflecting on one's teaching and reflecting on the meaning teaching has for students. It can take place before or after the event of teaching. The study set out to understand reflective teaching practices in a private school in Pakistan. The objective was to ascertain if reflective teaching is practised in Pakistan, how and why. Furthermore, I wanted to examine and understand the forms of reflection and their effect on teachers' professional development. Two teachers of mathematics participated in this study, shared their experiences and perspectives of reflective teaching in their school. The study was conducted in the qualitative paradigm by using in-depth interviews, lesson observations and reflective discussions for data collection. From the data, five major themes about reflective teaching emerged. First, teachers' notion of reflective teaching seems to be influenced by their personal biography, their curriculum and knowledge base, the beliefs and the context in which they work. Second, teachers tend to consider reflective teaching as a strategy for improving their classroom teaching. Third, reflective teaching does not seem to occur in a vacuum; however, engaging teachers in reflective teaching requires the ongoing professional support from the school management. Fourth, reflective teaching tends to create an enabling environment that leads to develop students' better conceptual understanding of mathematics. Finally, the study reveals that teaching of mathematics does not seem to be related to teacher's formal qualifications. However, the nature of subject content knowledge that the teachers have, seems to be a decisive factor. In addition to these key findings, the study has also revealed some important contextual concerns, which seem to inhibit the teachers' use of reflective teaching strategy. Some recommendations and implications have been drawn from the study. These may assist in understanding reflective teaching as a strategy for improving classroom teaching and the issues on teacher professional development more effectively

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