Studying mathematical discussion through the work of other teachers.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Mr. Abbas Husain

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Sadrudin Pardhan


Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan


This study concerns the use of mathematical talk in the teaching of mathematics. It looks at two issues and how teachers ' pedagogical one of them translates ideas of classroom discussion into practice in mathematics lessons. Literature on group work which I had learned in the course of my M. Ed programme claimed that mathematical discussion enhances pupils' understanding of mathematics. So I planned to study these claims through the work of other teachers, Ms Husan and Mr. Rahim. The research study also considers aspects of mentoring experienced teachers and the resulting implications and explores tensions and concerns which are a consequence or mentoring relationships. The research uses, extensively, classroom observation methods to investigate what happens as a teacher attempts to put into practice those ideas which were earlier negotiated in mentoring sessions. Data were collected by means of classroom observations (written notes about my perceptions of lessons) interviews with teachers and from teachers' diaries - written Comments about lessons. Another source of data was my own personal reflections about what I saw and heard teachers doing and saying about their work. These personal account s of what Occurred, which I recorded in my reflective journal, Constituted my perceptions of events. Mr. Rahim showed no interest in discussion-based methods of teaching. Although it might have been educationally sound for him to introduce changes in his pedagogy, he did not see Classroom innovations as one of his immediate needs. Possibly he did not understand the objective of using group work as an instructional strategy. He was concerned about the impact of and completion of the sy1labus. He lacked personal philosophy time this strategy on his students. His biggest concern was time process of professional growth. He cited time of He cited in the Constraints and school exams (end or year) as the major (end year) as the obstacles to implementing new ways of teaching. He, therefore, methods because they preferred to conserve his expository enabled him to cover a vast amount of the curriculum within short periods of time. Perhaps he took pupils' understanding of the subject matter for granted. On the other hand, Ms Husan accepted to implement group work but she could not understand ideas about this new instructional strategy. The major drawbacks that inhibited mathematical discussions in Ms Husan's lessons include Ms Husan's lack of experience with discussion, coupled with Lack of understanding to lead discussions. She lacked teaching qualities that were needed to engage pupils in classroom conversations. She often wrote on the blackboard mathematical procedures extracted directly from the class textbook and conveyed this information to pupils without interpreting it. Her perception of learning was memorising facts written on the blackboard and using textbook such facts to solve the questions. The students who were taught by the two teachers, were mathematical not given opportunities to question why they memorized facts as they techniques Worked. Instead appeared in the class textbooks. They would write mathematical procedures, dictated by their teachers, in their note books but whenever they were assigned problems to solve, they had to search for these procedures in their note books in order to attempt the problems.it was for difficult for me to obtain evidence of the students' learning outcomes because I could not communicate with them. It was very difficult for me to study the work which the students were doing in groups because the two teachers with whom I worked followed the class of limited I could not understand the language which they were speaking. The two teacher with whom I worked followed the class textbook slavishly. This might be a symptom of limited knowledge of the subject matter. In this study, I learned that it was not easy for me to communicate ideas of group work to another person and enable him/ her to translate those ideas with other directly into practice. I have also learned that group work as a teaching strategy, functions in partnership, with other teaching attributes of a teacher.

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