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Technology two ways: modeling mathematics teacher educators' use of technology in the classroom

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This study explores teacher educators' personal theories about the instructional practices central to preparing future teachers, how they enact those personal theories in the classroom, how they represent the relationship between content, pedagogy, and technology, and the function of technology

This study explores teacher educators' personal theories about the instructional practices central to preparing future teachers, how they enact those personal theories in the classroom, how they represent the relationship between content, pedagogy, and technology, and the function of technology in teacher educators' personal theories about the teaching of mathematics and their practices as enacted in the classroom. The conceptual frameworks of knowledge as situated and technology as situated provide a theoretical and analytical lens for examining individual instructor's conceptions and classroom activity as situated in the context of experiences and relationships in the social world. The research design employs a mixed method design to examine data collected from a representative sample of three full-time faculty members teaching methods of teaching mathematics in elementary education at the undergraduate level. Three primary types of data were collected and analyzed:

a) structured interviews using the repertory grid technique to model the mathematics education instructors' schemata regarding the teaching of mathematics methods; b) content analysis of classroom observations to develop models that represent the relationship of pedagogy, content, and technology as enacted in the classrooms; and c) brief retrospective protocols after each observed class session to explore the reasoning and individual choices made by an instructor that underlie their teaching decisions in the classroom. Findings reveal that although digital technology may not appear to be an essential component of an instructor's toolkit, technology can still play an integral role in teaching. This study puts forward the idea of repurposing as technology -- the ability to repurpose items as models, tools, and visual representations and integrate them into the curriculum. The instructors themselves became the technology, or the mediational tool, and introduced students to new meanings for "old" cultural artifacts in the classroom. Knowledge about the relationships between pedagogy, content, and technology and the function of technology in the classroom can be used to inform professional development for teacher educators with the goal of improving teacher preparation in mathematics education.

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Date Created
2014

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Harnessing Emotions: The Impact of Developing Ability Emotional Intelligence Skills on Perceptions of Collaborative Teamwork in a Project-Based Learning Class

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The purpose of this action research study was to implement and analyze an intervention designed to improve perceptions of working with others as well as practice and improve emotional tools related to such interactions through the systematic development of ability

The purpose of this action research study was to implement and analyze an intervention designed to improve perceptions of working with others as well as practice and improve emotional tools related to such interactions through the systematic development of ability emotional intelligence (EI) related skills. The present study sought to: (1) explore high school students’ perceptions of their role as part of a team during teamwork; (1a) investigate how perceptions differed by EI level; (2) examine how students’ perceptions of their role in teamwork were influenced by being paired with more advanced (ability EI) peers or less advanced peers, based on ability emotional intelligence test scores; (3) determine if ability emotional intelligence related skills could be developed over the course of a 7-week intervention.

The intervention took place in a 12th grade US Government & Economics classroom with 34 participants for examination of general trends, and 11 focal participants for focused and in-depth analysis. Students were taught about emotion theory and engaged in two weeks of ability emotional intelligence skills training, followed by a five-week project cycle in which students were required to work together to achieve a common goal. The research design was mixed methods convergent parallel. Quantitative data were collected from post- and retrospective pre-intervention surveys regarding student perceptions about working with others and their ability EI related skills. Qualitative data were collected through on-going student reflective journal entries, observational field notes, and interviews with the focal group of participants.

Results suggested the intervention had a significant effect on students’ perceptions of working with others and perceived ability emotional intelligence related skills. Significant positive change was found through quantitative data analysis, revealing students’ perceptions about working with others in teams had improved as a result of the intervention as had their perceptions about their ability EI related skills. Qualitative analysis revealed rich, thick descriptions exploring this shift in perception among the 11 focal students, providing the evidence necessary to support the effectiveness of the intervention. Results suggested the possibilities for improved teamwork in the classroom.

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Date Created
2019