Title

Enabling a mathematics teacher to teach for conceptual understanding

Date of Award

8-1-2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

For many years a great deal of emphasis has been given to school-based teacher development programs. Some of these ideas have been implemented in developing countries like Pakistan by involving teachers in different teacher training programs. However, the mentoring process for teacher development where an experienced teacher, teacher educator or a mentor works closely with teachers on a one-to-one basis over a period, is still an emerging idea in developing countries like Pakistan This study was conducted to explore how a teacher educator, working closely with a mathematics teacher for eight weeks can enable her to teach for conceptual understanding. In order to achieve this purpose an action research approach was adopted. The study indicates that the mentoring process does help the teacher to enhance the content and pedagogy. This would be possible if a teacher educator and the teacher have jointly identified the areas to work upon during the mentoring process. This process would involve clarifying the teacher's own mathematical concepts, raising awareness pertaining to significance of conceptual understanding and introducing ways and activities of representing mathematical concepts to the learners. The classroom provides an appropriate learning situation and mentoring is a suitable process to support the teacher to develop personally and professionally in this context. The study presents a model of mentoring based on an understanding of the process that the teacher and the teacher educator/ researcher had undergone during the study. The study emphasizes that the teacher educator and the teacher both support and challenge each other and that could lead them to enhance their own teaching and learning process. However, this working relationship cannot exist in isolation. The mentoring process does need support from the school environment. For instance, co-operation from the Head, Head of the Departments, colleagues, students, parents and available resources.

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