The nature and quality of the mathematical connections teachers make  4 views

Maggie Verster on 18 May 12Current reforms in mathematics education emphasise the need for pedagogy because it offers learners opportunities to develop their proficiency with complex highlevel cognitive processes. One has always associated the ability to make mathematical connections, together with the teacher's role in teaching them, with deep mathematical understanding. This article examines the nature and quality of the mathematical connections that the teachers' representations of those connections enabled or constrained. The researchers made video recordings of four Grade 11 teachers as they taught a series of five lessons on algebrarelated topics. The results showed that the teachers' representations of mathematical connections were either faulty or superficial in most cases. It compromised the learners' opportunities for making meaningful mathematical connections. The researchers concluded by suggesting that helping teachers to build their representation repertoires could increase the effectiveness of their instructional practices.