Utvikling av inquiry-basert undervising i matematikk : Kvalitative erfaringar frå eit intensivt og forskingsbasert utviklingsprosjekt med to lærarar i den vidaregåande opplæringa
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Inquiry-based teaching is characterized by engaging students in inquiry, collaboration and disussions on the basis of rich, perhaps realistic, problems with the teacher acting as moderator or coach. In recent years, this type of teaching has gained increasing attention within Norwegian mathematics education and is a focus area for influential contributors. Since these ideas are remote for many mathematics classrooms, the object of this thesis is to shed light on teachers’ (and students’) process of developing new practices in accordance with this ideal. I ask: What developments, challenges and key factors affect this process, and how are they connected? To gain insight into this, a short term development program was initiated in collaboration with two upper secondary school teachers. Over a period of three weeks, the teachers conducted five inquiry-based teaching sequences in contrast to their existing practice where the students mainly watched video lessons and solved tasks individually. The description of this program can be summarized in five key features: The implementation (a) occurred of a short, coherent period of time and was based on (b) research-based mentoring and (c) research-based resources and was (d) closely linked to practive and (e) reflection in collaboration. Simultaneously a qualitative study was carried out with this development program as case. Data was mainly gathered by interviewing the teachers, carrying out a focus group with four students and observing both lessons and planing meetings. Inspired by grounded theory and thematic analysis, the data was coded and categorized in light of a twofolded theoretical framework. Inquiry-based mathematics teaching is understood as a perspective on teaching (Wells, 1999) with several key characteristics (Maaß & Reitz-Koncebovski, 2013), while professional development is conceptualized as the joint development in beliefs, knowledge and practice. Additionally the frameworks of Gueudet and Trouche (2012) and Clarke and Hollingsworth (2002), documental genesis and the change environment respectively, are used to analyze the situation, in combination with existing research on the development of inquiry. This study confirms that inquiry-based mathematics teaching is demanding for both teachers and students, and most of the challenges posed by this data are also documented in existing research. That being said, this study also distinguishes itself from similar projects by demonstrating significant progress in terms of beliefs, knowledge and practice among the teachers and the studens. The most outstanding finding was the observation that many student groups developed inquiry and communication patters largly in complieance with the ideal. The same growth was also visible for the plenary talks and the teachers’ interactions with the students, but to a lesser extent. All cases indicated increased knowledge and positive beliefs and appeard to be consequences of key factors such as the five features, with emphasis on the last two, as well as the devotion of the teachers and the commitment by the students. Although the results advocate the demanding and intricate nature of inquiry-based mathematics teaching, they also demonstrate that significant development is possible under complex conditions. Even though several characteristics of the context imply generalization to other cases, other favorable qualities of the situation indicate that it would be unreasonable to expect all the same outcomes in less fortunate occasions.
Masteroppgave matematikkdidaktikk MA502 – Universitetet i Agder 2017