Perceptions of Theory in Practice: Influences that shape early career teachers’ mathematics lessons

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dc.contributor.advisor Ell, Fiona Spavin, Angela 2022-07-19T01:59:09Z 2022-07-19T01:59:09Z 2022 en
dc.description.abstract Teaching primary school mathematics is an ongoing challenge, with many researchers, practitioners and policymakers arguing the merits of theory-based education or practical- based experience. This theory-practice divide is much debated. This study investigates what learning crosses the boundaries from Initial Teacher Education (ITE) to classroom practice in mathematics. It examines the perceptions of three early career teachers in Year 1 or Year 2 classes, specifically focused on their use of theory within a mathematics lesson, using the lens of situated learning and the concept of boundary objects. The investigative approach was an exploratory case study. Video observation of a mathematics lesson and two semi-structured interviews were used to reflect with the teacher participants on what influenced their teaching and explore their beliefs about education theory in teaching and learning. Critical incidents and frameworks supported reflection and recall by participants. Findings suggest that ITE has minimal impact on classroom practice and that what crosses the boundaries from ITE to school is idiosyncratic and partially understood. The findings highlight that learning is done in situ and does not fully carry over from the ITE environment to classroom practice. Professional development in school seems to be more influential on teachers’ practice choices. Importantly, what did cross the boundary was that the teachers respond to learners on a socially inclusive, collaborative level. However, the development of the mathematical concepts in their lessons was not as evident. This study argues that ITE providers need to be more deliberate in designing programmes that allow pre-service teachers to experience and understand how theory enhances practice. Connections between ITE and schools will enable teachers to carry over the ideas and theoretical principles from ITE to the classroom. ITE providers, school communities, and policymakers need to work alongside one another to ensure mathematics learning and teaching crosses over from ITE to the classroom. All voices will be needed if the divide between theory and practice in mathematics teaching is to close.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
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dc.title Perceptions of Theory in Practice: Influences that shape early career teachers’ mathematics lessons
dc.type Thesis en Education The University of Auckland en Masters en 2022-07-12T05:20:40Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en
dc.rights.accessrights en

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