Topic Study Group 28:
Inservice education, professional life and development of mathematics teachers
Genaro Salinas Quiroga Auditorium (Law), A301 and A302

The previous topic study group on “Teacher Education” (TSG 23 at ICME-10, July 2004) focused on “The nature of being and of developing as a mathematics teacher or teacher educator”, and the fifteenth ICMI study on the “Professional Education and Development of Teachers of Mathematics” (Strand 2), in May 2005, focused on “Professional Learning For and In Practice”. This topic study group is therefore in continuity with these previous studies with its precise focus on “Inservice Education, Professional Life and Development of Mathematics Teachers”.

More particularly, this topic study group will focus on the question “What do we know about the experiences and approaches developed in different countries to support the professional development of teachers for practice, in practice and from practice?”

  • Nadine Bednarz (Canada)
    Université du Québec à Montréal
    descamps-bednarz.nadine@uqam.ca or nadinebednarz@yahoo.ca
  • Dario Fiorentini (Brazil)
    Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
    Rua Thomaz Alberto Whately, 123 (CEP: 13088-038) CAMPINAS, SP, BRAZIL
    dariof@unicamp.br or dariofiore@terra.com.br
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Team members:
  • Rongjin Huang (China)
    University of Macau, Macau SAR
    hrj318@gmail.com or RJHuang@umac.mo
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AIMS, SCOPE AND GOALS

The professionalization of teaching requires teachers and teacher educators to be involved in a learning process throughout their entire professional life. The complexity of mathematical teaching practices raises a lot of questions for inservice teacher education. Nowadays, schools are confronted with many challenges like the elaboration of new curriculum grounded in learning/teaching paradigms that call into question a number of mathematical teaching practices, the consideration of specific culture contexts to rethink these curriculum and mathematical teaching practices, the integration of historical dimensions into teaching, the development of interdisciplinary projects, the introduction of new technologies into classrooms, or the adaptation of teaching practices for different students and contexts (students with learning difficulties, multicultural classrooms, ESL/teaching mathematics in a second language, underprivileged schools, adults, analphabetism…). The problems encountered differ according to the teacher education systems in place in each country.

These challenges demand serious reflections as to how to support the persons directly concerned by these issues (practicing teachers and other school practitioners) and develop means that take into account the differing problems to educate teachers in each country. Inservice teacher education can take different forms (courses, colloquium, sharing experiences, collaborative practices…) and can be supported by different persons (teachers, pedagogical consultants, teacher educators, researchers, mathematicians…). In the past, this inservice education has often been considered as inappropriate or too distant from real classrooms practices and teachers knowledge. However, in the last decade, different experiences and alternative approaches have been developed worldwide to support the learning process of practitioners for, in and from practice (web communities, teachers working in collaboration, action research, collaborative research, communities of inquiry, teachers research …). Most of these approaches and experiences take seriously into consideration the practitioners’ points of view and their knowledge in the support processes of the practice, mainly through the development of school curriculum, learning/teaching situations and in the construction of mathematical professional knowledge linked to the teaching practice.

What do we know about these different approaches and experiences developed to support the professional development of teachers? How are they characterized and researched? How do they take into account the challenges and complexities of teaching practices in different socio-cultural contexts? What do we know about the sorts of professional learning taking place in these approaches and settings? What do these suggest concerning the initial mathematics teachers education?

Issues and questions to be addressed are:

- What do we mean by teachers’ professional development in mathematics? Which conceptualizations of professional development are emerging from research in mathematics education? What are their different theoretical and epistemological bases?

- When and how does professional development begin and grow along the professional life of a teacher?

- What strategies, practices and processes are identified and described as promoters or catalysts of the teachers’ professional development?

- How is the process of professional development being favored or hindered by the public politics in the different countries?

- How does inservice education address the question of the complexity of practice in mathematics education and the challenges it is confronted with? (searching to take into account this complexity, to address some of these challenges…)

- What do we know of approaches and experiences developed to support the professional development of teachers? Especially, how can we characterize the process developed within and throughout the approach in regard to its relation to practice, to the role of teacher educators and teachers, to the learning taking place?

- How does inservice education take into consideration the contexts of cultural diversity or of specific cultures, and the mathematics developed in given cultural or professional groups ( Bishop, 1988;D’Ambrosio, 2001;Gerdes, 1995;Lave, 1988)?

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First session - Lecture of Barbara Jaworski
“Mathematics Teacher Education in a Global Context”

Barbara Jaworski (B.Jaworski@lboro.ac.uk)

“Abstract:” Over the last 2 decades, mathematics teacher education (MTE) has grown as an important sub-discipline of the discipline of mathematics education. I will begin by tracing this development in terms of both the historical dimension and its key elements/instruments. This includes significant papers and working groups at major conferences, the journal JMTE (Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education), a dedicated survey at ICME 10, books and a handbook, and major trends. Research in the area (and in some cases the lack of it) will be a principle focus. I will then address what seem to me to be the current major trends in MTE, particularly with regard to knowledge in teaching, the education of practising teachers and development of teaching. This includes elements of reflective practice, teachers’ engagement in (action) research and partnerships between teachers and academics/educators. The roles and development of mathematics teacher educators is also an important focus. I will end with a perspective on our future within mathematics teacher education.

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FORMAT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE TOPIC

In the ICME 11 programme, TSG28 will have two one-hour sessions and two ninety-minute sessions at its disposal, thus 5 hours in total. This is a very short amount of time to deal with such ambitious issues, as well as potentially many contributions.

To take into account this short amount of time, the team made the choice to organize the study group not in terms of oral presentations (of each paper). The dynamics will be the following: for each set of 4 or 5 papers related to a common sub-topic (or sub-theme), a researcher (or critical respondent) will be indicated or invited by the team to make a simple synthesis of the papers and to raise some questions to be discussed by participants together with authors.
In addition, in the first session, a lecture will be given that will present an overview of the current state-of-the-art in the topic, and of important questions to discuss.

A panel on important issues linked to the topic of the group will also be organized during the last session of TSG28. This panel will be oriented by questions developed by team leaders.

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CALL FOR PAPERS

For TSG28, we invite papers that fit with the aims and the focus outlined above.

- Papers should have a clearly focus on issues relating to inservice education, professional life and development of mathematics teachers;

- In particular, papers should be oriented toward the main focus of the topic study group, that is, approaches and experiences developed to support professional development of teachers FOR, IN and FROM practice, precisely concerning some of the questions and issues pointed above;

- Papers that report research should make very clear the theoretical and methodological positions adopted, as well as an analysis of the approach developed, including an appropriate blend of theory and practice;

- Papers reporting on practical experiences should make very clear the reflective (or theoretical) part of the experience. In other words, papers cannot be mere descriptions of an experience.

These four points will constitute the main criteria for reviewing papers and for recommending acceptance to the group.

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PAPER FORMAT AND SUBMISSION

A common format for all papers is required to allow ease of reading and critical judgment across papers. This will also facilitate a publication on the website, in order for the participants to have access to the papers prior to the meeting.

Papers should be of a maximum of 8 pages in length, including references and figures, on “letter” format. They should be written in English. Text should be 12 point Times New Roman, 1 1/2 spaced, with 6 points spacing between paragraphs, and margins of 1 inch (2.54 cm) all around.

Papers should be preceded by an abstract of up to 250 words, single spaced, 10 points Times New Roman.

The title should be in 14 point Times New Roman, bold capitals, followed by the authors’ names, affiliations and country in 14 point Times New Roman Italics. Titles, authors’names and information should be centered in the text; with names of presenting authors underlined. References should follow the APA style.

Papers that do not meet these requirements will not go into the review process.

PLEASE SEND YOUR PAPER BY EMAIL ATTACHMENT TO EACH GROUP LEADER (CHAIRS AND CO-LEADERS) BY NOVEMBER 1ST, 2007. YOU WILL FIND THE FIVE EMAIL ADDRESSES LISTED ABOVE.
INDICATE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE CORRESPONDING AUTHOR AND PROVIDE AN INSTITUTIONAL ADDRESS, EMAIL ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR THIS PERSON. INDICATE ALSO WHICH AUTHORS WILL BE ATTENDING TSG28 AT ICME-11 AND PRESENTING THE PAPER, BY UNDERLINING THEIR NAMES ON THE PAPER.

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PAPER REVIEW PROCESS

Each paper will be reviewed by three referees, one of the group leader and two experts in the topic that have also submitted papers to the TSG-28.

Reviewers will recommend acceptance, acceptance with modifications, or rejection of a paper.
The final decision will be taken by group leaders.

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TIMESCALE OF PAPER SUBMISSION AND THE REVIEW PROCESS

November 10th , 2007: An extension of deadline for submission of papers.

November 2007 to December 2007: Review process. Authors are informed of the decision on their paper by December 20th, 2007. Papers rejected at this stage will not be reconsidered.

January, 15th, 2008: Authors with papers accepted with modifications resubmit papers following recommendations. These papers will be read by one of the group leaders who will make a decision about acceptance (on the basis of the authors’ attentive responses to reviewers’ recommendations).

January 22nd, 2008: Final decisions about contributing papers and presentations.

February 2008: Group leaders structure the programme for the topic study group, on the basis of the accepted papers. Papers whose authors have registered for the ICME-11 conference and participation in this study group will be published on-line on the conference website.

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Proposals by
  • - Naomi Chissick (Israel)
  • - Bracha Kramarski and Tali Revach (Israel)
  • - Ruth Beatty and Cathy Bruce (Canada)
  • - Jérôme Proulx (Canada)
  • - Mario Sanchez (Danemark)
  • - Christine Suurtamm and Nancy Vezina (Canada)
  • - Ginger Rhodes and Patricia Wilson (USA)
  • - Yeping Li, Rongjin Huan, Jiansheng Bao, Yadong Fan (China)
  • - Dario Fiorentini, Rosana G. S. Miskulin, Regina C.Grando and Adair M. Nacarato, Cármen L.B. Passos, Brazil
  • - Ana Cristina Ferreira and Maria Angela Miorim, Brazil
  • - Claudia Canha Nunes, Portugal
  • - Maria Teresa Menezes Freitas and Dario Fiorentini, Brazil
  • - Els de Geest, Marie Joubert Gibb, Rosamund Sutherland, Jenni Back, Christine Hirst, England
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