Proceedings of the Day Conference held at the University of Manchester in March 2008
Institute of Education, University of London
Mathematics is a multimodal/multisemiotic discourse where different modes of communication take place such as verbal language, algebraic notations, visual forms and gestures. These different modes offer different mathematical meaning potentials. Based on Halliday’s SFL, Morgan (1996) has developed a linguistic framework to describe the verbal components of mathematical texts. O’Halloran (2005) also developed a framework to describe the mathematical visual graphs and symbolism. Still, there is a need to develop tools to describe other modes such as geometrical diagrams and gestures. This paper shows only one aspect (ideational/representational) of a suggested framework to read geometrical diagram/shapes which is developed based on school-students’ work and textbooks.
Kingsfield School, South Gloucestershire and University of Bristol
In this paper I consider methodological aspects of Gattegno’s (1987) conception of a Science of Education. His emphasis on the watchfulness of the teacher, and on personal transformation is close to ideas in Dewey (1934) and Mason (2002). In all three authors this foregrounding of the personal can at times read more like a description of aesthetic rather than scientific experience; and I have found it helpful to see these as two different perspectives or lightings on the complex whole that is education. My research interests are in the transformative power of conversation and I conclude by offering a short transcript of classroom dialogue and an initial indication of an instrument for analysing utterances in terms of their logical level.
3 The Mathematical Competence of Adults Returning to Learning on a University Foundation Programme: a selective comparison of performance with the CSMS study
Foundation Centre, Durham University
This brief paper provides a snapshot of some of the mathematical competences of mature students on entry to a University Foundation Programme preparing students for a range of degree routes. As part of a pilot study, Foundation students were given a mathematics questionnaire containing some questions based on those used in the 1974-79 CSMS study (Hart, 1981) with the addition of confidence ratings. Whilst many of the results are as might be predicted, some results are perhaps more surprising. The purpose of this paper is to share some of these findings.
Sue Gifford and Freda Rockliffe
A research team have been trying to identify children as ‘pure’ cases of dyscalculia. Children were identified by their teachers and parents as having specific mathematics difficulties. They exhibited some classic symptoms of dyscalculia such as difficulties in acquiring arithmetic skills or understanding simple number concepts. A range of assessment strategies including the Dyscalculia Screener were used to explore their understanding and strategies. No pure cases were found, although the children presented complex patterns of learning difficulties and compensatory strategies. The range of contributory factors suggests the need for new theoretical perspectives to consider learning difficulties and the need to study individual mathematics learning trajectories.
Tolga Kabaca1, Faculty of Education, University of Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey, and
Yavuz Erdogan, Faculty of Education, University of Marmara, Istanbul, Turkey
The use of computers and especially Computer Algebra Systems in mathematics education offers new opportunities in teaching and learning the relationship between mathematics and the real world. Visualization is also the process of using geometrical illustrations of mathematical concepts. In this paper, an algorithm, into how visualization is used to improve students’ comprehension of the structure of a surface which is a two dimensional graphic, has been described. According to the constructivist learning theory, we tried to determine a road from the picture of a curve to a surface. The plotting method, described in this paper, is an electronic plotting algorithm which makes the structure of a surface more comprehensible.
Chris Kyriacou and John Issitt
University of York, Department of Educational Studies
Four key questions face those involved in trying to develop evidence-based mathematics teaching: (i) What counts as a good question for a review?; (ii) What counts as good evidence concerning which classroom practices work best?; (iii) How can such evidence be transmitted to teachers?; and (iv) How can teachers be encouraged/directed to adopt more effective classroom practices? Current initiatives in this area suggest that the value of trying to develop evidence-based education may lie in stimulating teachers, teacher educators, researchers and policy-makers to consider in an intelligent fashion what research can tell us about good practice, but this enterprise is unlikely to deliver an unequivocal blueprint for effective classroom practice.
CARE, University of East Anglia
This purpose of this study was to observe dyslexic children and how they approach mathematical problems. The focus was on three 10-12 year old children and the findings were centred on classroom management and teaching style issues. This involved the pupil’s ability to perform in a modern British classroom with the current suggested styles of lesson presentation.
The findings centred on the notion of a need for quiet in the classroom and a dyslexic child’s inability to cope with noise and offers of help from other adults or pupils.
8 The Mathematics involved in Communities of Practice and School Mathematics: is there a difference?
Centre for Teaching Mathematics, University of Plymouth
Although school mathematics is necessary for the enculturation into abstract and formal ways of thinking, there is essentially no difference between school and everyday mathematics. Rather than two different kinds of mathematics, any mathematics that can be discerned in practice is the same kind of mathematics that is taught in school but used differently in different situations. However, paradoxically, the everyday mathematics of a community of practice is different to that of schooled mathematics: the former is tied to competency and task fulfilment while the latter is epistemic.
9 Prospective Mathematics Teachers’ Practices of Technology Integration: A case of the definite integral
Sibel Yeildere1, Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, Turkey and
Hatice Akkoç, Marmara Üniversitesi, Turkey
This study focuses on prospective mathematics teachers’ practices of integrating technology into instruction for the case of the definite integral. We are particularly interested in how prospective teachers use technology to address student difficulties concerning the limit process to define definite integral. For that purpose, we selected two prospective mathematics teachers and investigated their pedagogical use of technology. The data comes from micro-teaching videos and lesson plans of these prospective teachers, interviews with them and teaching notes. In this paper, we will discuss implications of our data to diagnose prospective teachers’ difficulties and to identify the areas in need of development for a successful integration.
Research in Mathematics Education
Elena Nardi1, University of East Anglia and
Tim Rowland, University of Cambridge
Research in Mathematics Education is the new international, peer-reviewed official journal of BSRLM. Launched in 2007, it succeeds the annual publications RME Volumes 1-9, and is published by Routledge. At the March 1st, 2008 day conference the Editors of RME invited BSRLM members to a discussion about their journal’s present and future. Prior to general discussion, the Editors updated the audience about: setting up the journal (Editorial Boards, Publisher), submissions received so far (quality and quantity), the reviewing process, promotion – and briefly discussed the contents of issue 10(1). A discussion of RME’s vision, strategies for attracting significant papers and promotion followed. Some members of the Editorial Board and International Advisory Board were also present. The Editors intend that the discussion will continue at future day conferences.