Building Knowledge for Technology Integration in Learning to Teach Secondary School Mathematics: Building Technology Knowledge

Building Knowledge for Technology Integration in Learning to Teach Secondary School Mathematics: Building Technology Knowledge

Rachel Angela Ayieko (Duquesne University, USA), Elif Nagihan Gokbel (Duquesne University, USA) and Ahmet Oğuz Akçay (Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7001-1.ch002

Abstract

Teachers' knowledge for teaching mathematics in secondary school is incomplete without the inclusion of knowledge of technology integration in teaching. Developing technology pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) of pre-service teachers is essential in teacher preparation programs because PSTs gain knowledge of how to use technology in mathematics teaching before beginning their practice. This study investigates how preservice mathematics teachers' TPACK emerges during the secondary mathematics methods and field-based courses. The instructors supported the growth of PSTs' knowledge for teaching secondary mathematics and integrating technology in the method courses. The evidence of TPACK knowledge included data from lesson plans and lesson reflections, technology presentations, and semi-structured exit interviews through content analysis. Recommendations for policy and practice are elaborated.
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Introduction

A conceptual understanding of mathematics is essential for the development of problem-solving skills and creativity in the present century. Notably, technology integration in teaching mathematics is useful for more in-depth learning of mathematics (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 2014). Previous studies related to technology integration in teaching, however, indicate that inadequate teacher knowledge is one of the critical barriers to effective technology integration (Hew & Brush, 2007; Mishra & Koehler, 2006). As such, the need to build on pre-service and in-service teachers’ knowledge is an agenda for teacher educators and other education stakeholders. Enochson and Rizza (2009) stated that pre-service teachers (PSTs) were able to advance their experience of pedagogical technology integration by observing good examples and engaging in active learning. This knowledge base that includes the interconnections between knowledge for teaching and knowledge of technology integration in teaching is the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). Although the TPACK framework is an integral part of teacher education programs (Mishra, Koehler, & Henriksen, 2011), instructors differ in approaches to building it in the teacher preparation programs. Further, the selection of appropriate technology for teaching mathematics in the different grade levels remains unclear.

Most of the studies that have focused on PSTs’ development of TPACK report positive outcomes. Özgün -Koca, Meagher, and Edwards (2010) found that the technology integrated methods course was successful in PSTs’ development of TPACK. In particular, experiences with advanced digital technologies (e.g., TI-Nspire, SmartBoard, and Geometer’s Sketchpad) in methods courses and student teaching experiences showed the PSTs had an increase in their levels of TPACK, technology skills, and a better understanding of mathematics content (Meagher, Özgün -Koca, & Edwards, 2011). Similarly, Haciomeroglu, Bu, Schoen, and Hohenwarter (2011) evaluated the development of PSTs’ TPACK knowledge when they worked with GeoGebra, either individually or in groups. They found that all the PSTs had positive views and attitudes of teaching and learning mathematics and further developed their TPACK when they had opportunities to design and present lessons using GeoGebra.

This study investigated how pre-service mathematics teachers' TPACK emerged during the PSTs’ professional phase of learning to teach secondary mathematics. This learning stage included a combination of the mathematics methods and the field-based courses. Our purpose was to support PSTs’ development of a deeper knowledge of teaching secondary mathematics. Specifically, this chapter reports on the PSTs’ opportunities to learn the integration of technology in the methods courses in Spring 2016 and 2017 and the technology integration the PSTs engaged in to connect theory to practice. The activities and instructional procedures were similar in both years with some improvements made after reflecting on the approaches and the PSTs’ learning in the first cycle. The data collected and analyzed included class activities, PSTs’ technology-related assignments through curriculum analysis, technology presentations, and field-based experiences comprised of lesson plans and lesson reflections and exit interviews at the completion of their student teaching.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technological Tools: Technology tools are used to enhance the mathematics teaching and learning process. These tools include but not limited: graphing calculators, web-based sources, instructional software, tablet PCs, desktop-based devices, interactive whiteboards, mobile devices, etc.

GeoGebra: A web-based dynamic mathematics software tool that is useful for teaching topics in geometry, algebra, and calculus from elementary school through university level.

Technology Integration: The use of technology into lesson practices and also lesson plans.

Graphics Calculator: Graphing calculator is a handheld calculator and help students to visualize and better understand plotting graphs, solving simultaneous equations, and other tasks.

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