Mathematics teachers: Negotiating professional and discipline identities
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Central to all students' school education is the teacher (Boaler & Greeno, 2001; Hayes, Mills, Christie & Lingard, 2006; Zammit, et al., 2007). There are a multitude of research studies that document and support successful teaching practice, but rarely have these studies investigated teacher qualities that go beyond the question of technique (incorporating strategies and approaches used in the classroom). Yet, good teaching goes beyond 'good technique' (Palmer, 1993) - if it were mere technique then it should be well understood by now. Palmer argues that teachers teach from their sense of self - their identity. In the classroom, that identity primarily consists of the way they see themselves as a pedagogue and how they see themselves in relation to their discipline - in this case, as a mathematician. This study focused on the teacher themselves - their identity - and in particular how their teaching practice is conceptualised through their discipline-based, and professionally-based identities (Ballantyne, 2005). The findings here are somewhat preliminary and require further investigation and theorising. To this end we offer some of the initial findings and our early thoughts about the data, but these are tentatively held and hopefully they will promote discussion and debate.
Shaping the future of mathematics education: Proceedings of the 33rd annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
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Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy