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Inside the black box of learning to teach primary mathematics in Kenya and Ghana

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Abstract:

As low-income countries strive to attain the goal of universal basic education by 2015, evaluation of progress suggests that whilst giant strides have been made towards this goal, equal progress in learning achievement has been more elusive. In both Kenya and Ghana, learning achievement in maths at the primary level has consistently been low, sparking recommendations to reform initial and in-service teacher education. National and international understanding of what might be the problem is shallow, partly because of lack of research focusing on teacher trainees and newly qualified teachers’ (NQTs) knowledge, understanding and practice with respect to learning to teach mathematics. This paper from the Teacher Preparation in Africa project bridges this gap by examining how primary school teacher trainees are prepared to teach mathematics in colleges in Kenya and Ghana, and what happens to their practice as NQTs. Findings based on intensive classroom observation at both college and school level, and a survey of trainees’ and NQTs’ knowledge, understanding and pedagogical content knowledge point to conceptual and procedural gaps. College tutors’ knowledge and understanding of the competences required to teach early grade mathematics is detached from the challenges that children might face in grasping concepts. Teaching and learning aids for developing mathematical concepts are presented without deep understanding of their effect on learning the concepts. The paper concludes with a conceptual map of the theory and practice of learning to teach mathematics with the potential to impact on teachers’ practice at the classroom level.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486303_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Akyeampong, Kwame., Bunyi, Grace. and Adu-Yeboah, Christine. "Inside the black box of learning to teach primary mathematics in Kenya and Ghana" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486303_index.html>

APA Citation:

Akyeampong, K. A., Bunyi, G. and Adu-Yeboah, C. "Inside the black box of learning to teach primary mathematics in Kenya and Ghana" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486303_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: As low-income countries strive to attain the goal of universal basic education by 2015, evaluation of progress suggests that whilst giant strides have been made towards this goal, equal progress in learning achievement has been more elusive. In both Kenya and Ghana, learning achievement in maths at the primary level has consistently been low, sparking recommendations to reform initial and in-service teacher education. National and international understanding of what might be the problem is shallow, partly because of lack of research focusing on teacher trainees and newly qualified teachers’ (NQTs) knowledge, understanding and practice with respect to learning to teach mathematics. This paper from the Teacher Preparation in Africa project bridges this gap by examining how primary school teacher trainees are prepared to teach mathematics in colleges in Kenya and Ghana, and what happens to their practice as NQTs. Findings based on intensive classroom observation at both college and school level, and a survey of trainees’ and NQTs’ knowledge, understanding and pedagogical content knowledge point to conceptual and procedural gaps. College tutors’ knowledge and understanding of the competences required to teach early grade mathematics is detached from the challenges that children might face in grasping concepts. Teaching and learning aids for developing mathematical concepts are presented without deep understanding of their effect on learning the concepts. The paper concludes with a conceptual map of the theory and practice of learning to teach mathematics with the potential to impact on teachers’ practice at the classroom level.


Similar Titles:
The Influence of Pre-Service Teacher Education in Learning to Teach Primary Level Mathematics: The IEA TEDS-M Study Report

Assessing the gender differences in maths teaching and learning across low and high performing primary schools in Kenya

Looking Back at Where We're Going: Learning, Teaching, and Policy-Making as a Black Male in K-12 Mathematics.


 
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