Title

Enhancing an eight grade mathematics teacher's understanding of developing students' deductive reasoning in geometry using concrete materials

Date of Award

8-1-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Though geometry is one of the most important components of the school mathematics curriculum, there is lack of suitable teaching pedagogy for developing students' deductive reasoning in the lower secondary geometry classrooms (Fujita & Jones, 2004; Royal Society, 2001).This being the case, students face difficulties in coping with secondary school geometry which requires them to reason deductively while dealing with geometric figures, axioms, postulates and theorems. The purpose of the study is to enhance an eighth grade Mathematics teacher's understanding of developing her students' deductive reasoning in geometry, through the use of concrete materials. This study was conducted in a government school in Karachi, Pakistan, using the collaborative action research methodology. Data were collected through conducting semi-structured interviews and classroom observations, writing reflections and maintaining field-notes at the pre-intervention, intervention and post-intervention stages of this study. The data were analyzed on an ongoing basis throughout the research process, which provided the basis for making a comprehensive evaluation and analysis of all the stages and activities of the action research. Findings of the study revealed that in order to help lower secondary students in developing their deductive reasoning, a teacher needs to develop both the theoretical as well as pedagogical understanding of teaching and learning of geometry. The understanding of the Van Hiele's model of geometric reasoning helped the participant teacher to explore her students' existing level of reasoning and plan her lesson accordingly. In addition, participation in this study helped the participant teacher acquire some understanding of developing students' deductive reasoning through the use of appropriate concrete materials, asking thought provoking questions and creating meaningful discussions among students with regard to the geometrical concepts included in the study. Moreover, the study explored issues like the use of the textbook, exam, and absence of teachers' accountability regarding their classroom teaching practices as hindering factors in the teaching and learning of geometry in a lower secondary mathematics classroom in Pakistan.

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