Teacher professional development

We will focus on Mathematics teachers’ professional development when they participate in Lesson Study projects to be aware of students’ educational and instructional needs. All teachers taught Mathematics to 14-15 year old high school students. The teachers’ professional development could be described in terms of Shulman’s (1987) Pedagogical Content Knowledge (РСК). PCK was conceptualised differently by diverse scholars. In this chapter, we distinguish the following five PCK components of teacher’s knowledge and beliefs: (1) educational goals, (2) curriculum, (3) instruction strategies, (4) students’ misconceptions, and (5) assessment (Schneider & Plasman, 2011; Van Driel, Verloop, & De Vos, 1998). To analyse teachers’ professional development we used the Interconnected Model of Teacher Professional Growth (IMTPG) by Clarke and Hollingsworth (2002) as depicted in Figure 4.1.

According to Clarke and Hollingsworth (2002), a teacher develops in recurring cycles through the processes of ‘reflection’ and ‘enactment’ in four distinct domains. Three of these domains are situated in the teachers’ daily world, while the fourth (the External Domain) is outside this daily world. Teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes are situated in the Personal Domain (PD). The intention of a Lesson Study cycle is to expand participants’ knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes in this domain. The External Domain (ED) is where a teacher meets new ideas. In our Lesson Study, the ED consisted of specific literature, the collaborative lesson preparation, and the after-class discussions based on the observations. The Domain of Practice (DP) in this study involved the teaching of the prepared lessons and observing students working on the material in class. The Domain of Consequence (DC) (salient outcomes) focussed on the consequences of the teaching: what and how did the students learn. Clarke and Hollingsworth (2002) emphasised the effect of a change in one domain as a sequence of changes in the other domains. They identified temporal changes and named these ‘change sequences’. When the change is more than momentary, this is seen as professional growth, and the associated change sequence is termed a ‘growth network’.

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