ERIC Number: EJ891286
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Teachers' Conceptions of Representation in Middle School Mathematics
Stylianou, Despina A.
Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, v13 n4 p325-343 Aug 2010
Current reform efforts call for an emphasis on the use of representation in the mathematics classroom across levels and topics. The aim of the study was to examine teachers' conceptions of representation as a process in doing mathematics, and their perspectives on the role of representations in the teaching and learning of mathematics at the middle-school level. Interviews with middle school mathematics teachers suggest that teachers use representations in varied ways in their own mathematical work and have developed working definitions of the term primarily as a product in problem solving. However, teachers' conception of representation as a process and a mathematical practice appears to be less developed, and, as a result, representations may have a peripheral role in their instruction as well. Further, the data suggested that representation is viewed as a topic of study rather than as a general process, and as a goal for the learning of only a minority of the students--the high-performing ones. Implications for mathematics teacher education, prospective and practicing, are discussed.
Descriptors: Mathematics Education, Educational Change, Mathematics Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Secondary School Mathematics, Mathematical Concepts, Interviews, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A