Investigating Mathematics Teaching: A Constructivist Enquiry

By Barbara Jaworski | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

Interlude 2: From Phase 2 to Phase 3

As in Chapter 5, my purpose here is to express some of the thinking which influenced my conducting of the research and interpretations in moving between phases, in this case from Phase 2 to Phase 3. It was at this stage in the research project that I became more aware of the relationship between a constructivist theoretical perspective and my observations of teaching.


Teacher and Researcher Awareness

Towards the end of the first term of Phase 2 observation, I wrote the following diary entry about my current research work:

Sense-makingI believe that every teacher must ask the question, ‘What sense are the students making of mathematics in my lessons?’ I am interested in how teachers go about, a) helping students to make sense of mathematics; b) finding out what sense is being made. I am pursuing this by observing particular teachers in their classrooms, noticing aspects of their practice, discussing their work with them: Trying to find out:
• What most concerns them about the way they work?
• What are classroom issues for them?
• What tensions do they confront?
• What action do they take to develop their teaching?
• How do they present material?
• How do they intervene, talk/listen with students?
• How do they find out what students are thinking/understanding?
• Are there common issues/concerns, beliefs about teaching, actions taken? (Fuzzy)
• Is it possible to develop a language to describe classroom teaching development?
• In many situations I am a teacher myself. I have concerns. There are issues/tensions which I confront; e.g., How does the way I present

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