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School mathematics reform and teacher education programs in Peru. An analysis of mathematics future teachers’ beliefs and opportunities to learn

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Abstract:

In recent years Peruvian students have showed poor results in evaluations of academic achievement. Nationwide yearly assessments of second grade students implemented since 2007 have confirmed students’ difficulties to reason with numbers, relations, and operations to solve problems (Ministry of Education, 2010). In addition, research has found that teachers are not implementing the curriculum as expected. Studies of opportunities have found that teachers do not cover all the required content for the academic year. Teachers often stress tasks of low cognitive demand (Cueto, Ramirez, & Leon, 2006; MED, 2008). These problems have driven ongoing educational reforms in Peru. The National Curriculum Design (DCN in Spanish) established in 2009 encompasses the recommendations of the last curricular reform (MED, 2009). This document encourages adopting student-centered teaching practices, and it provides the foundation for teaching that promotes critical thinking, creativity, freedom, and active participation of students. Regarding mathematics teaching, the DCN proposes three processes for developing mathematical skills: problem solving, mathematical communication, and reasoning and demonstration. Assumptions underlining this school curriculum reform are: teachers will embrace beliefs that support mathematics as problem solving, and teachers will have the required knowledge for mathematics teaching.
In this context, teacher education programs are compelled to facilitate changes required by the reform since these new demands and expectations require that future teachers are trained to become more thoughtful and rigorous so that they can fulfill the standards expected in their own classrooms. Specifically, teacher education programs need to provide future teachers with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to implement teaching that values meaningful understanding of mathematical concepts by means of problem solving.
The objective of this study is analyzing to what extent teacher education programs are providing learning opportunities that allow future teacher implement the school mathematical curriculum and its recommended processes. My main research question is: What kinds of experiences in teacher education programs in Peru are associated with the acquisition of beliefs that support reform-oriented teaching practices for mathematics teaching?
This is a mix-method study since I am using quantitative and qualitative methods. The qualitative component implies the analysis of institutional documents, such as teacher education curriculum and syllabus that will help me to characterize the institutions where students are enrolled. The quantitative component mainly uses a cross sectional survey design since I have administered a survey to a sample of people at one point in time (Creswell, 2011). For this study, I used a purposeful sampling design, specifically the critical case sampling, which “permits logical generalizations and maximum application of information to other cases because if it’s true of this one case it’s likely to be true of all other cases” (Patton, 1990). According to this criterion, I pre-selected a sample of the most prestigious schools of education in Lima and visited them to request participation. Six institutions (public and private) agreed to participate in the study. In each institution, I surveyed all future primary teachers (last year students) enrolled in the last year of the program of primary education. My final sample is formed by 155 future teachers.
Regarding data collection, I mostly used the sources employed by the Teacher Education and Developmental Study of Mathematics (TEDS-M) and collected the study plans and syllabi of mathematics and pedagogy of mathematics of each institution. Likewise, I used the TEDS-M future teacher questionnaire which includes questions on general background, beliefs, and opportunities to learn. The data collection process has been completed and I just started data analysis. I will present preliminary results in the conference.
This research will provide useful information to implement educational policies related to the preparation of future teachers. Research on the topics explored in this study have not been developed before in the Peruvian context; however they are pertinent, especially to support educational reforms implemented in recent years to improve the quality of teacher preparation programs. Policy makers and teacher education curriculum designers need to understand how teacher preparation curriculum is related to future teachers’ beliefs about mathematics teaching. Thus, informed decisions can be made to support any innovation or modification in future teachers’ core curriculum. Likewise, in the recent years, teacher education has become a critical area of educational policy in many countries and there is need to produce usable knowledge that allow policy makers to identify which factors promote or hinder the preparation of teachers able to enact quality mathematics teaching. Thus, this study also contributes to the efforts addressed by different studies, such as TEDS-M, to investigate teacher preparation around the world.
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Association:
Name: 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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MLA Citation:

Villena, Giovanna. "School mathematics reform and teacher education programs in Peru. An analysis of mathematics future teachers’ beliefs and opportunities to learn" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Hilton Riverside Hotel, New Orleans, LA, Mar 10, 2013 <Not Available>. 2014-12-11 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p636157_index.html>

APA Citation:

Villena, G. M. , 2013-03-10 "School mathematics reform and teacher education programs in Peru. An analysis of mathematics future teachers’ beliefs and opportunities to learn" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Hilton Riverside Hotel, New Orleans, LA <Not Available>. 2014-12-11 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p636157_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In recent years Peruvian students have showed poor results in evaluations of academic achievement. Nationwide yearly assessments of second grade students implemented since 2007 have confirmed students’ difficulties to reason with numbers, relations, and operations to solve problems (Ministry of Education, 2010). In addition, research has found that teachers are not implementing the curriculum as expected. Studies of opportunities have found that teachers do not cover all the required content for the academic year. Teachers often stress tasks of low cognitive demand (Cueto, Ramirez, & Leon, 2006; MED, 2008). These problems have driven ongoing educational reforms in Peru. The National Curriculum Design (DCN in Spanish) established in 2009 encompasses the recommendations of the last curricular reform (MED, 2009). This document encourages adopting student-centered teaching practices, and it provides the foundation for teaching that promotes critical thinking, creativity, freedom, and active participation of students. Regarding mathematics teaching, the DCN proposes three processes for developing mathematical skills: problem solving, mathematical communication, and reasoning and demonstration. Assumptions underlining this school curriculum reform are: teachers will embrace beliefs that support mathematics as problem solving, and teachers will have the required knowledge for mathematics teaching.
In this context, teacher education programs are compelled to facilitate changes required by the reform since these new demands and expectations require that future teachers are trained to become more thoughtful and rigorous so that they can fulfill the standards expected in their own classrooms. Specifically, teacher education programs need to provide future teachers with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to implement teaching that values meaningful understanding of mathematical concepts by means of problem solving.
The objective of this study is analyzing to what extent teacher education programs are providing learning opportunities that allow future teacher implement the school mathematical curriculum and its recommended processes. My main research question is: What kinds of experiences in teacher education programs in Peru are associated with the acquisition of beliefs that support reform-oriented teaching practices for mathematics teaching?
This is a mix-method study since I am using quantitative and qualitative methods. The qualitative component implies the analysis of institutional documents, such as teacher education curriculum and syllabus that will help me to characterize the institutions where students are enrolled. The quantitative component mainly uses a cross sectional survey design since I have administered a survey to a sample of people at one point in time (Creswell, 2011). For this study, I used a purposeful sampling design, specifically the critical case sampling, which “permits logical generalizations and maximum application of information to other cases because if it’s true of this one case it’s likely to be true of all other cases” (Patton, 1990). According to this criterion, I pre-selected a sample of the most prestigious schools of education in Lima and visited them to request participation. Six institutions (public and private) agreed to participate in the study. In each institution, I surveyed all future primary teachers (last year students) enrolled in the last year of the program of primary education. My final sample is formed by 155 future teachers.
Regarding data collection, I mostly used the sources employed by the Teacher Education and Developmental Study of Mathematics (TEDS-M) and collected the study plans and syllabi of mathematics and pedagogy of mathematics of each institution. Likewise, I used the TEDS-M future teacher questionnaire which includes questions on general background, beliefs, and opportunities to learn. The data collection process has been completed and I just started data analysis. I will present preliminary results in the conference.
This research will provide useful information to implement educational policies related to the preparation of future teachers. Research on the topics explored in this study have not been developed before in the Peruvian context; however they are pertinent, especially to support educational reforms implemented in recent years to improve the quality of teacher preparation programs. Policy makers and teacher education curriculum designers need to understand how teacher preparation curriculum is related to future teachers’ beliefs about mathematics teaching. Thus, informed decisions can be made to support any innovation or modification in future teachers’ core curriculum. Likewise, in the recent years, teacher education has become a critical area of educational policy in many countries and there is need to produce usable knowledge that allow policy makers to identify which factors promote or hinder the preparation of teachers able to enact quality mathematics teaching. Thus, this study also contributes to the efforts addressed by different studies, such as TEDS-M, to investigate teacher preparation around the world.


Similar Titles:
The Role of Teacher Learning Opportunities in the Measurement of Teachers’ Reform Mathematics Instruction

School mathematics reform and teaching in Peru: An analysis from mathematics teachers’ practices, beliefs and knowledge


 
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