Practising mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge by implementing the framework of learning study in teacher education: A show case

Mun Yee LAI, Yin Wah Priscilla LO-FU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Continuing critique of the disconnection between theory and practice in teacher education programs has brought in new developments in practice theory and attention to professional practice as a research area. From this position, questions arise as to what is the entry point for practice and what should be practised, all of which are relevant to actual classroom teaching by preservice teachers. We presume that practising the use of mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge is the entry point for practice in teacher education programs. Shulman (1986) proposed a special domain of teacher knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, which bridges subject matter knowledge, knowledge of pedagogy and classroom teaching. Shulman defined pedagogical content knowledge as “an understanding of what makes the learning of specific topics easy or difficult: the conceptions and preconceptions that students of different ages and backgrounds bring with them to the learning of those most frequently taught topics and lessons” (1986, p.9). Though Shulman’s work could provide a conceptual orientation and a set of analytic distinction on the nature and types of knowledge needed for teaching a subject (Ball, Thames & Phelps, 2008), the question about “what exact professional knowledge of mathematics for teaching, tailored to the work teachers do with curriculum materials, instruction, and students” (Ball, Hill & Bass, 2005; p.16) is still unsolved. Ball et al. (2008) extend Shulman’s notion of subject content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge to pursue a better understanding of his idea on the relationship between them. The analysis of the mathematical demands of teaching (Ball et al., 2008) further divided Shulman’s content knowledge into ’Common content knowledge’ and ‘Specialized content knowledge’; and his pedagogical content knowledge into ’Knowledge of content and students’ and ’Knowledge of content and teaching’. Building on this work, this paper suggests incorporating the framework of Learning Study, a theory-guided pedagogical principle, as an integrated subject of mathematics pedagogy and teaching practice in teacher education programs. In this paper, the learning journals of twenty-six preservice teachers who took primary mathematics as their major teaching training subject for their BEd. (Primary) program and who enrolled on Learning Study in Mathematics in 2009 will be analysed and reported. The show case aims to share the success of the program and to disseminate how pre-service teachers enhanced their Mathematical Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge by practising Learning Study.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Citation

Lai, M. Y., & Lo-Fu, P. Y. W. (2012, November). Practising mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge by implementing the framework of learning study in teacher education: A show case. Paper presented at The World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) Conference 2012: Challenging practice enhancing partnerships nurturing the child, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Keywords

  • Preservice teacher education
  • Pedagogical content knowledge
  • Learning study

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