Deconstructing Students' Personal Scholastic Experiences and Rebuilding an Understanding of Primary School Mathematics Teaching

By Jean-Claude Boyer, Nicole Mailloux and Danielle Boyer.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many studies have shown the inherent value of student teachers refashioning their personal beliefs about mathematics education before embarking on their own journey as maths teachers. Their scholastic experience often adversely influences their notion of mathematics education. Most have experienced mathematics in an environment focused on the transmission of knowledge rather than a student-centered teaching approach. The Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) has implemented a teaching approach centered on a dialectical reconstruction of knowledge. Student teachers are encouraged to deconstruct and then rebuild their understanding of mathematics and mathematics teaching. The UQO's approach creates a collaborative learning environment where students are encouraged to meld experiential knowledge and scientific knowledge in order to create a new integrated knowledge base. Learning through problem solving is at the heart of this teaching approach. In its classes, the UQO strives to include the following: an update and clarification of experiential knowledge; the exploration of problem situation scenarios which provoke cognitive dissonance; the acquisition and understanding of theoretical instruments necessary to the symbolization of experiential knowledge; and the reconstruction of student teachers' conceptual fields. This paper presents the UQO's teaching method and the effects of its implementation on student teachers' conceptions over three years of teacher education.

Keywords: Mathematics Education, Dialectical Reconstruction of Knowledge, Student Teachers

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.17-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 917.556KB).

Prof. Jean-Claude Boyer

Directeur, Module de l'éducation, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, Québec, Canada

Professor Boyer is a mathematics didactician specializing in primary level education at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. His research focuses primarily on the training of mathematics student teachers and on mathematics literacy.

Prof. Nicole Mailloux

Professeure, Département des sciences de l'éducation, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, Québec, Canada

Danielle Boyer

Chargée de Cours, Département des sciences de l'éducation, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, Québec, Canada

Lecturer in mathematical learning and teaching at the primary level.