Interpretations of, and orientations to, “understanding mathematics in depth”: students in MEC programmes across institutions

Article


Adler, Jill, Hossain, Sarmin, Stevenson, Mary, Grantham, Barry, Clarke, John and Archer, Rosa 2009. Interpretations of, and orientations to, “understanding mathematics in depth”: students in MEC programmes across institutions. Informal Proceedings of the British Society for research into Learning Mathematics. 29 (3).
AuthorsAdler, Jill, Hossain, Sarmin, Stevenson, Mary, Grantham, Barry, Clarke, John and Archer, Rosa
Abstract

In this paper we present initial findings from our study of interpretations and orientations
to ‘understanding mathematics in depth’ among students in selected Mathematics
Enhancement Courses (MEC) in the UK. The MEC is a 26-week pre-Initial Teacher
Education (ITE) ‘mathematics subject knowledge for teaching’ course designed for, and
undertaken by, graduates wishing to teach mathematics at secondary level, but do not
have a Mathematics degree. It is completed before commencing with a PGCE. A
common theme running through the MEC documentation is the importance of
‘understanding mathematics in depth’. We are interested in what and how MEC students
interpret and orient themselves towards ‘understanding mathematics in depth’. In
designing and conducting our empirical work we have drawn upon a related project in
South Africa, which is exploring ‘mathematics for teaching’, specifically what and how
mathematics and teaching are co-constituted in mathematics teacher education
programmes. The MEC is an interesting empirical context for such study, as it is a
mathematics course, or set of courses, specifically designed for future teachers. We have
collected data through guided, semi-structured interviews with 18 students and 4
lecturing staff at three different institutions. The interpretations and orientations of MEC
students towards mathematics and the notion of ‘understanding mathematics in depth’,
we contend, provide additional insight into the developing notion of mathematical
knowledge in and for teaching.

Keywordsinitial teacher education; Mathematics Enhancement Course
JournalInformal Proceedings of the British Society for research into Learning Mathematics
Journal citation29 (3)
ISSN1463-6840
Year2009
PublisherBSRLM
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://www.bsrlm.org.uk/IPs/ip29-3/BSRLM-IP-29-3-01.pdf
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1068
Publication dates
PrintNov 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Nov 2010
Additional information

Proceedings of the Day Conference held at Loughborough University in November 2009

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