Learning mathematics for teaching mathematics: non-specialist teachers’ mathematics teacher identity

Cosette Crisan, Melissa Rodd

Abstract


A non-specialist teacher of mathematics is a school teacher who qualified to teach in a subject other than mathematics yet teaches mathematics to students in secondary school. There is an emerging interest internationally in this population, a brief report of which is given in the paper. Because of concerns about the quality of non-specialists’ mathematics teaching, in-service courses for these teachers have been provided by some educational jurisdictions, including within the United Kingdom (UK). This paper reports on a research project based on designing and teaching such courses in London. The paper operationalises ‘Mathematics Teacher Identity’ by adapting Wenger’s (1998) social ecology of identity to give a framework of ‘Modes of Belonging’ for a teacher of mathematics, which is then used to analyse qualitative data of different types. Analysis of the data identifies (1) aspects of non-specialists’ mathematics teacher identity in terms of indicators and (2) through two case studies, ‘trajectories’ towards development of a mathematics teacher identity.


Keywords


non-specialist teacher of mathematics . mathematics teacher identity . in-service course . communities of practice . teaching across specialisations . ‘out-of-field’ teaching

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ball, D.L., Thames, M. H., & Phelps, G. (2008). Content knowledge for teaching: What makes it special? Journal of Teacher Education, 59, pp. 389-407.

Bassey, M. (1999). Case study research in educational settings, Open University Press, Buckingham, Philadelphia.

Becker, H. J. (2000). Secondary teachers of mixed academic subjects: “Out-of-field” problem or constructivist innovators. Retrieved on 31/08/2015 from http://www.crito.uci.edu/tlc/findings/aera/out-of-field.pdf

Bosse, M. (2014). The practice of out-of-field teaching in mathematics classrooms. In L. Hobbs & G. Törner (Eds..) Taking an international perspective on out-of-field teaching: Proceedings and Agenda for

Research and Action, 1st TAS Collective Symposium, 30-31 August 2014.

Boaler, J. (Ed.). (2001). Multiple perspectives on mathematics teaching and learning. Westport, CT: Ablex..

Brown, A.J. & P. Dowling. (1998) Doing Research/Reading Research: A mode of interrogation for education, The Falmer Press, London and New York.

Brown, A.J. & Dowling, P.C. (1998). Doing Research/Reading Research: A mode of interrogation for education. London, Falmer Press.

Byrd, G. (2010). New GCSE Mathematics - Grade A/A* Booster Workbook: Edexcel Linear, Collins Educational.

Crisan, C. & Rodd, M. (2014). Talking the talk...but walking the walk? How do non-specialist mathematics teachers come to see themselves as mathematics teachers? In L. Hobbs & G. Törner (eds.) Taking an international perspective on out-of-field teaching: Proceedings and Agenda for Research and Action, 1st TAS Collective Symposium, 30-31 August 2014.

Fennema, E. & Nelson, B. (Eds.). (1997). Mathematics teachers in transition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Graven, M. (2004) Investigating mathematics teacher learning within an in-service community of practice: the centrality of confidence, Educational Studies in Mathematics 57, pp. 177-211.

Graven, M. (2005). Mathematics teacher retention and the role of Identity: Sam’s story. Pythagoras, (61), 2-10.

Graven, M., & Lerman, S. (2003). Book Review. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 6, 185-194.

Gray, D. E. (2014). Doing Research in the Real World. London: SAGE.

Grootenboer, P. J. & Zevenbergen, R. (2008). Identity as a lens to understand learning mathematics: Developing a model. In M.Goos, R.

Brown & K. Makar (Eds.), Navigating currents and charting directions. Proceedings of the 31st annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Brisbane, Vol. 1, 243-250. Brisbane: MERGA.

Hall, S. (1990). Cultural identity and diaspora. In J. Rutheford (Ed.) Identity: Community, culture, difference (pp. 222-337). London: Lawrence and Wishart.

Hillman, J. (2014). Mathematics after 16: the state of play, challenges and ways ahead, London: Nuffield Foundation.

Hobbs, L. (2013). Teaching ‘out-of-field’ as a boundary crossing event: factors shaping teacher identity. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11, pp. 271-297.

Hobbs, L. & Törner, G. (Eds) (2014) Taking an International perspective on “out-of-field” teaching: Proceedings and Agenda for Research and Action from the 1st Teaching Across Collective Symposium, Porto, Portugal, 30-31 Aug.

Hollway, W. & Jefferson, T. (2008). The free association narrative interview method. In: Given, Lisa M. (Ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods., Sevenoaks, California: Sage, pp. 296–315.

Ingersoll, R. M. (1999). The Problem of Underqualified Teachers in American Secondary Schools. Educational Researcher, 28, pp. 26-38.

Ingersoll, R. M. & Curran, B.K. (2004). Out –of-field teaching: The great obstacle to meeting the “Highly Qualified” teacher challenge. NGA Centre for Best Practice. Issue Brief. Retrieved on 31/08/2015 from http://www.gse.upenn.edu/pdf/rmi/Out-of-Field.pdf

Kim, E. & Kim, H. (2014). Policy change and teaching quality: an analysis of out-of-field teaching realities in upper secondary schools in Korea between 2008 and 2013, 1st TAS Collective Symposium, 30-31 August 2014.

Ma, L. (1999). Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics: teachers’ understanding of fundamental mathematics in China and the United States. New Jersey : Lawrence Erlbaum.

Mason, J. (2002). Researching your own practice: the discipline of noticing. UK: Routledge.

Moor, H., Jones, M., Johnson, F., Martin, K., Cowell, E. & Bojke, C. (2006). Mathematics and Science in Secondary Schools: the Deployment of Teachers and Support Staff to Deliver the Curriculum (DfES Research Report 708). London: DfES.

Muzil, M. (2015). Constructing a dialogic teacher's identity: a case study exploring the impact of community of practice. In Adams, G. (Ed.) Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics 35(2), pp. 48-51.

Ní Ríordáin, M. & Hannigan, A. (2011). Who teaches mathematics at second level in Ireland? Irish Educational Studies, 30(3), pp. 289-304.

Oppland-Cordell, S. & Martin, B. D. (2015). Identity, power, and shifting participation in a mathematics workshop: Latin@ students’ negotiation of self and success, Mathematics Education Research Journal, 27, pp. 21-49.

Rodd, M. (2012). In-service courses for teachers of mathematics: identity, equity and mathematics. In Equity and Quality in Education Conference Beijing Normal University, pp. 22-24.

Roos, H. & Palmér, H. (2015). Communities of practice: exploring the diverse use of a theory. In: CERME9 (European Research in Mathematics Education), 4-8 Feb., 2015, Prague (pp. 162-172).

Ross, N. (2015) School Workforce in England: November 2014. Retrieved on 24/06/2016 from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440577/Text_SFR21-2015.pdf

Smith, T. (2006). Becoming a teacher of mathematics: Wenger's social theory of learning perspective. In P. Grootenboer, R. Zevenbergen, & M. Chinnappan (Eds.), Identities, cultures and learning spaces (Proceedings of the 29th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Vol. 2, pp. 619-622). Canberra, Australia: MERGA.

Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching, Educational Research, 15(2), pp. 4-14.

Skemp, R. (1976). Relational Understanding and Instrumental Understanding. Mathematics Teaching, 77, pp. 20-26.

Teacher Development Agency. (2009). Mathematics development programme for teachers. Last accessed on 31/08/2015 at http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120203163341/http://tda.gov.uk/teacher/developing-career/professional-development/mathematics-information.aspx

Teacher Development Agency. (2011). Join the free Return to Teaching (RTT) Programme. Last accessed on 03/12/2011at http://www.tda.gov.uk/teacher/returning-to-teaching/ske-for- returners.aspx

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. New York: Cambridge.

Wilson, M.S., Shulman, L. S., & Richert, A. E. (1987). ‘150 Different Ways' of Knowing: Representations of knowledge in teaching’. In J. Calderhead (Ed.), Exploring teachers' thinking, Cassell Educational Limited, pp. 104-124.

Wu, H. (1997). On the education of teachers. Retrieved on 31/08/2015 from http://math.berkley.edu/~wu/teacher-education.pdf


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.