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From Another Perspective—training teachers to cope with problematic learning situations in geometry

Hagar Gal
Educational Studies in Mathematics
Vol. 78, No. 2 (November 2011), pp. 183-203
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41486161
Page Count: 21
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From Another Perspective—training teachers to cope with problematic learning situations in geometry
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Abstract

"From Another Perspective" is a year-long course for teachers of mathematics that is designed to enhance teachers' awareness of the way that their students think when they are experiencing difficulties in geometry. It also aims at equipping teachers with tools needed to analyze and cope with Problematic Learning Situations in geometry (Gal & Linchevski, 2000). This paper reviews the rationale, content, and approach of the course, which is characterized as "the Back and Forth model". It then reports on a study that tracked the changes that course participants (pre-and in-service mathematics teachers) passed through. The paper describes the results of the case study of Eti, one of the participants, who taught mathematics to junior high school students. The findings suggest that Eti was helped to achieving the goals of: (1) expanding and deepening her understanding of students' ways of thinking; (2) increasing her awareness of her students' processes of thinking in order to identify their difficulties; (3) equipping her with appropriate tools to analyze and cope with such difficulties; and (4) enhancing her ability to retrieve and utilize this knowledge while making instructional decisions. Conclusions and open questions for further study are drawn.

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