Beskouings oor onderrig : implikasies vir die didaktiese skoling van wiskundeonderwyser / Hercules David Nieuwoudt
Nieuwoudt, Hercules David
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Views of teaching: implications for the didactic training of mathematics teachers. School mathematics teaching is an essential learning area in South African schools. Owing to persistent traditional positivist-based views and approaches, it still suffers from a variety of teaching-learning problems. Various national attempts have already been made to develop an effective teaching-learning program for school mathematics. Prominent researchers reveal that the failure of teaching-learning programmes often have to be attributed to the lack of an underlying grounded didactic theory. Therefore this study focused on the development of a grounded teaching-theoretical framework for school mathematics teaching. A further problem regarding school mathematics is that its teaching and learning traditionally are viewed from a narrow school subject disciplinary perspective. Therefore this study departed from a general didactic-theoretical perspective, creating the opportunity to approach and solve problems from a wider angle. A constructivist-based post-positivist view of effective teaching was developed, before entering the field of school mathematics. In this way an integrated ontologicalcontextual view of teaching was developed in terms of six identified ontological essential features, and their contextual coherence, namely: intention, teacher, leamer, interaction, content and context. Contrary to traditional positivist views, no causal relationship between teaching and learning was imposed, and teaching was not qualified in terms of learning products. Instead, teaching was characterised and qualified on ontological grounds, departing from the phenomenon itself. In this way the limitations of positivist process-product views of teaching could be identified, explained and overcome. Alternatively, a dynamic integrated view of teaching as a human act, directed at the facilitation of relevant and meaningful learning, was grounded and developed. Based on this general ontological-contextually based view, a specific ontologicalcontextual view of effective school mathematics teaching was grounded and developed. To this end a variety of prominent contemporary views of and approaches to school mathematics, and its teaching and learning, needed to be analysed in a critical way. According to this analysis school mathematics, and its teaching and learning should be viewed and approached from a constructivist-based dynamic change-and-grow perspective as human acts. In addition, it could have been proved that the perspective concerned can facilitate the treatment and solving of the currently experienced teaching-learning problems. This requires the reconsideration, from a similar perspective, of the current school mathematics curriculum, as well as the preservice didactic training of mathematics teachers. Specific implications of the developed ontological-contextual view of effective school mathematics teaching were identified, and practically tested in the corresponding preservice didactic training situation in the North West Province. Based on this an integrated model for the training concerned was formulated. It was found that the current training largely contributed to the continuation of traditional views of and approaches to school mathematics teaching, and its essential features. From the developed integrated ontological-contextual perspective definitive proposals regarding the transformation of school mathematics teaching and the corresponding didactic training were made and motivated. Further areas for investigation and development, resulting from this study, were identified, as well. This study aimed at investigating, and revealing for further exploration, the specific and broadening interaction between the general teaching and subject didactical fields and research, particularly in the two contexts of effective school mathematics teaching and the corresponding preservice didactical training. A particular attempt was made to accomplish this in a grounded and integrated way, to the benefit of both fields.
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