The Use of Videos in the Training of Math Teachers: Formative Assessment in Math Teaching and Learning

The Use of Videos in the Training of Math Teachers: Formative Assessment in Math Teaching and Learning

Giorgio Bolondi (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italy), Federica Ferretti (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italy), Alessandro Gimigliano (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italy), Stefania Lovece (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italy) and Ira Vannini (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italy)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3832-5.ch013


The purpose of this chapter is to present a systematic observational research on the math teachers' assessment practices in the classroom. This research is a specific phase of an international project (FAMT&L - Comenius Multilateral Project) and it is aimed to promote the use of formative assessment in teaching mathematics to students aged from 11 to 16. The observational study is carried out by a plan of systematic observations of teachers' behaviour in the classroom with the help of video recording. Thanks to a specific tool of video analysis (a structured grid), developed using indications from international literature and experiences of teacher training in the five Partner countries involved (Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland and Cyprus), we managed to gather many different indicators on good and bad practices for the formative assessment of mathematics teachers. Furthermore, the analysed video will be used in in-service teacher training courses in order to promote a correct use of formative assessment and to improve achievements in learning mathematics.
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Assessing Maths Learning: A Didactic And A Social Problem

In Italian school practice, the assessment of Mathematical learning has been and in fact is yet traditionally oriented to a summative function, performed by means of written open tests (only recently the use of multiple choice tests is increasing) and oral-at-the-blackboard interrogations. Hence, is focuses primarily on students’ products (results of calculations, presentations of proofs, …). On the other hand, formative assessment, as it will be detailed below, requires being careful mainly of students’ processes. In this sense, we may say that in Italy math teachers have no formative assessment tradition, and in fact there is no systematic presence of it in pre-service training, and it is sporadic also in in-service training.

It must be noted that assessment, in math, has a crucial role in determining students’ beliefs and attitudes, which in turn influence students’ achievements (Di Martino & Zan, 2002; Bolondi & Ferretti, 2015). Therefore recovering a formative dimension for assessment is a strategic goal for maths teacher and it may became a fundamental tool for switching all the didactic focus from the contents (the mathematical objects) to the actors (the students).

Maths activity in the classroom involves many components: discourses, technologies, visual representations; it is performed through explorations, work on specific tasks, explanations. Formative assessment takes place in this complexity of actions. Then it is important to train teachers to observe significant elements of this complexity, and for this purpose video analysis is a natural tool.

As examples of situations that are worthwhile to analyse, we may list:

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