Making Connections: Comparing Mathematics Classrooms Around The Worldby David Clarke
Pub. Date: 11/03/2006
Publisher: Sense Publishers
In this book, comparisons are made between the practices of classrooms in a variety of different school systems around the world. The abiding challenge for classroom research is the realization of structure in diversity. The structure in this case takes the form of patterns of participation: regularities in the social practices of mathematics classrooms. The expansion of our field of view to include international rather than just local classrooms increases the diversity and heightens the challenge of the search for structure, while increasing the significance of any structures, once found. In particular, this book reports on the use of 'lesson events' as an entry point for the analysis of lesson structure.
International research offers opportunities to study settings and characteristics untenable in the researcher's local situation. Importantly, international comparative studies can reveal possibilities for practice that would go unrecognized within the established norms of educational practice of one country or one culture. Our capacity to conceive of alternatives to our current practice is constrained by deep-rooted assumptions, reflecting cultural and societal values that we lack the perspective to question. The comparisons made possible by international research facilitate our identification and interrogation of these assumptions. Such interrogation opens up possibilities for innovation that might not otherwise be identified, expanding the repertoire of mathematics teachers internationally, and providing the basis for theory development.
The Learner's Perspective Study aims to juxtapose the observable practices of the classroom and the meanings attributed to those practices by classroom participants. The LPS research design documents sequences of at least ten lessons, using three video cameras, supplemented by the reconstructive accounts of classroom participants obtained in post-lesson video-stimulated interviews, and by test and questionnaire data, and copies of student written material. In each participating country, data generation focuses on the classrooms of three teachers, identified by the local mathematics education community as competent, and situated in demographically different school communities within the one major city. The large body of complex data supports both the characterisation of practice in the classrooms of competent teachers and the development of theory.
- Sense Publishers
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