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International Approaches to Professional Development for Mathematics Teachers

Edited by Nadine Bednarz, Dario Fiorentini and Rongjin Huang

Publication Year: 2011

Schools everywhere are being confronted with evolving learning and teaching paradigms that call into question a number of traditional math teaching techniques. These changes demand serious reflection on how to support frontline educators in developing their teaching skills.

Alternative approaches to professional development have been established worldwide that support teacher education and contribute to professional development that is informed by practice, created for practice and refined in practice. This volume provides a rich portrait of these emergent strategies in the professional development of math teachers, bridging the divide between theory and practice.

Written by researchers around the world, the contributions examine innovative approaches to the professional development of math teachers in different countries. Many of these approaches take into account the practitioner’s point of view and are fundamentally rooted in the context of the classroom.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Cover Page

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Title Page

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pp. iii-

Copyright Page

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pp. iv-


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pp. v-viii

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Introduction: Experiences in Different Countries in the Professional Development of Mathematics Teachers

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pp. ix-xviii

This book originates from the discussions of an international study group during the eleventh International Conference on Mathematics Education (ICME-11) in Monterrey, Mexico, from 6 to 13 July 2008. It is the result of a long process coordinated by the three editors of organizing the different papers presented at this conference to clarify the experiences in different...

Part 1: International Perspectives on Mathematics Teacher Education

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Chapter 1: Situating Mathematics Teacher Education in a Global Context

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pp. 2-50

This chapter stems from an invited presentation at ICME-11 in Topic Study Group 28 focusing on the in-service education, professional life, and development of mathematics teachers. I was to set the scene historically and offer my own perspective, from an international point of view, on where we currently are in this field. I welcomed the invitation as it gave me the...

Part 2: Professional Development in Practice of Mathematics Teachers

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Chapter 2: The Professional Development of a Mathematics Teacher in the Role of a Subject Leader

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pp. 52-61

Teachers nowadays work in a world marked by economical, political, and organizational changes. The nature and context of curriculum, teachers’ roles, and in-service teachers’ training needs are also confronting changes. This educational change requires simultaneous and articulated action among teachers’ professional development, curriculum development practices, ...

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Chapter 3: Mentoring as Professional Development: A Case from Secondary-Level Mathematics

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pp. 62-71

Learning a profession requires formal study and practical experience, and teaching is no exception. In the United States, field experiences have become an integral part of teacher preparation programs, and university students eagerly embrace the opportunity to work in schools and learn from veteran teachers. Practising teachers might be involved in formal study at a university...

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Chapter 4: Facilitating Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Development through Ranking and Promotion in Mainland China

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pp. 72-85

The search for effective approaches to achieving excellence in mathematics education has led to an increased interest for teaching and teacher education practices in some high-achieving educational systems, including in China (Li, 2007; Li, Ma, & Pang, 2008). In particular, recent investigations revealed remarkable differences between American and Chinese teachers in their...

Part 3: Professional Knowledge Development of Mathematics Teachers

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Chapter 5: Secondary Teachers’ Professional Development through the Exploration of School Mathematics

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pp. 88-97

In this chapter, I report on a professional development initiative set up for secondary mathematics teachers (see Proulx, 2007). Six teachers (Carole, Carl, Eric, Lana, Linda, and Gina) participated in the project with the intention to revitalize and improve their mathematics teaching practices. The teachers generally thought that their mathematical knowledge was...

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Chapter 6: Dialogue among In-Service Teachers in an Internet-Based Mathematics Education Program

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pp. 98-107

The mathematics education program of the Centro de Investigación en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICATA-IPN) in Mexico is an Internet-based program directed at inservice mathematics teachers in Latin American countries.2 The program offers master’s and PhD studies constituted by a number of different...

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Chapter 7: In-Service Professional Development for Teachers of Pre-University Mathematics

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pp. 108-116

There is a well-publicized shortage of specialist teachers of mathematics in England (see, e.g., Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education [ACME], 2002; Department for Children, Schools, and Family [DfES/ DTI], 2006; Smith, 2004). In response to the Smith Report, the UK government set up the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of...

Part 4: Experiences of Professional Development in Teaching Mathematics

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Chapter 8: In-Service Teacher Education: A Collaborative Experience with Non-Specialist Teachers Who Teach Mathematics

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pp. 118-127

This chapter reports on research on an in-service teacher education program involving primary-level educators exploring mathematical and statistical contents using computers. The research was part of a broader study whose aim was to identify the characteristics of a pedagogical educational process that contributes to the “development” of teaching practice. Development...

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Chapter 9: Formative Processes: Sharing Learning Experiences in Geometry

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pp. 128-136

This chapter is related to research developed from 2003 to 2007 in a collaborative group constituted by graduate students (pre-service mathematics teachers) and postgraduate students, in-service elementary school teachers, and university professors. The group’s object of study was geometry and its teaching; it was this focus that motivated the name of the group: ...

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Chapter 10: Collaborative Work and the Professional Development of Mathematics Teachers: Analysis of a Brazilian Experience

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pp. 137-149

In Brazil as in other countries, efforts have been made toward the education of mathematics teachers (pre-service and in-service). In past decades, different initiatives and proposals were presented in the context of the reform of mathematics education. However, many of these experiences were not successful. From our point of view, the perspective adopted has not always...

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Chapter 11: Assessing a Research/Professional Development Model in Patterning and Algebra

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pp. 150-161

Over the past fifty years, researchers have studied the importance of teacher professional development (PD). What teachers know and are able to do is a key factor influencing student learning (Fullan, Hill, & Crevola, 2006). However, there is a lack of empirical research on the effects of PD on teacher learning, particularly with respect to developing classroom knowledge...

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Chapter 12: Professional Development: From Telling to Listening

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pp. 162-173

Our study reports on a professional development initiative designed to provide teachers with experiences to support them as they move from a model of teacher explanation and repeated student practice to attending to students’ mathematical thinking within problem-solving settings. Such a shift in teacher practice is challenging and difficult to put into action. This...

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Chapter 13: Continuing Professional Education of Mathematics Teachers: Learning by Investigating

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pp. 174-181

This research is based, on the one hand, on the relevance of considering the teaching of geometry at the preschool level and, on the other, on the potentiality of considering mathematical investigation for the teaching and learning of mathematics. It is also founded on the fact that teachers are the central agents of their professional development and construct professional...

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Chapter 14: The Role of Self-Regulated Learning in the Professional Development of Elementary Mathematics Teachers

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pp. 182-193

Current reforms in the educational system have raised new goals for teachers’ training concerning professional development (NCTM, 2000). In essence, these goals maintain that teacher training should not be limited to transmitting subject matter knowledge and pedagogical knowledge using predefined, fixed methods but find ways to construct...

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Chapter 15: Investigating and Writing in the Professional Development of Mathematics Teachers

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pp. 194-201

This chapter describes and analyzes the roles and contributions of both investigation and discursive writing in mathematics teacher education. After theoretically discussing this perspective in teachers’ education, we describe the narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), which represents a methodological alternative to investigating the teachers’ ...

Part 5: Reforms, Curricular Change, and Continuous Professional Development

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Chapter 16: Factors Affecting the Implementation of Reforms in Secondary School Mathematics

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pp. 204-212

During my work with mathematics teachers in the past seventeen years, I have come to appreciate the intricacy of their work on the one hand and its importance and impact on the other. The research described here stems from my experience as a teacher, head of a department, supervisor, and teacher educator in secondary mathematics education in Israel. My...

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Chapter 17: Teacher Development and Curricular Change: A Research Program

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pp. 213-222

Professional teacher development and renewal of school curriculum have traditionally been treated as independent processes. Generally, curricular innovation and teacher education do not take, as starting and final points, the current school culture, the teaching conditions present in schools, and the complexity of pedagogical work in mathematics. In...

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Chapter 18: Researching Effective Continuing Professional Development in Mathematics Education

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pp. 223-231

This chapter reports on the Researching Effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in Mathematics Education (RECME) project set up under the umbrella of the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics in the United Kingdom (NCETM). The NCETM was launched in 2006 with the broad aim of enhancing mathematics teaching and learning in schools, colleges, universities, and...

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Conclusion: Education of Practising Teachers, Professional Life, and Development of Mathematics Teachers

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pp. 232-246

The previous chapters give a rich portrait of alternative approaches to and experiences in mathematics teacher education aimed at supporting the professional development of teachers. These approaches and experiences try to be better aligned with teacher professional practices so as to be significant for them. The analyses in the different chapters help to clarify the characteristics of these various approaches, ...


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pp. 247-254


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pp. 255-263

E-ISBN-13: 9780776619576
E-ISBN-10: 0776619578
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776607474
Print-ISBN-10: 0776607472

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Education