PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to propose and evaluate a proactive reflective activity for mathematics student teachers in which they consider mathematical content and its teaching in highly specific classroom situations.Design/methodology/approachThe study was conducted in context of a mathematics Initial Teacher Education programme in the UK. Participants were invited from the whole cohort of student teachers to identify, script and reflect upon critical classroom incidents. In total, 12 such scripts were produced and then discussed by 17 student teachers in group and plenary sessions. Discussions were audio-recorded. Scripts and discussions were analysed according to four characteristics: consistency between stated pedagogical priorities and intended practices; specificity of the reflection to the classroom situation reported in the scripts; reification of pedagogical discourse; and, reification of mathematical discourse.FindingsIn the results, the authors exemplify student teachers’ insights that emerged from the analysis of the scripts through the typology of the four characteristics, and the authors observe that the student teachers’ insights mirror the complexity and richness of the mathematics classrooms they face. The authors’ examples and their evaluation through the aforementioned typology of the four characteristics illustrate the potency of student teachers’ participation in producing, and reflecting upon, individually and collectively, critical incidents of their inaugural experiences in the classroom.Practical implicationsAs these activities take placein the context of teacher education, professional development or developmental research environments, an additional challenge is to generate robust and informative evaluation of teachers’ engagement with reflection and research on their practice. This study takes on this challenge in the context of a mathematics teacher education programme in the UK: the authors propose and evaluate a proactive reflective activity for mathematics student teachers in which they consider mathematical content and its teaching in highly specific classroom situations.Originality/valueThe examples and their evaluation through the typology of four characteristics illustrate the potency of student teachers’ participation in producing, and reflecting upon, individually and collectively, critical incidents of their inaugural experiences in the classroom.
International Journal of Lesson and Learning Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 15, 2019
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