Parallell posting in the library on Friday 27 September at 12:15
“Japanese Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Knowledge: International case studies on praxeological analysis" by Yukiko Asami-Johansson at the Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development
Datum: Friday 27 september
Plats: Researchers corner
What kind of knowledge is required for the teaching of school mathematics at a given level depends on which teaching and learning culture one belongs to, since such knowledge is constructed under the constant institutional influence of the society. This PhD thesis explores Japanese mathematics teachers’ professional knowledge and its dissemination from the perspectives offered by the anthropological theory of the didactic (ATD). “Professional” knowledge here means the body of sound theoretical knowledge that is explicitly built and deliberately developed by the institution of teachers who shares it. To expose the characteristics of their knowledge in detail, we analyse case studies from teacher education, reflections among the teachers in service, and the international transfer of a specific Japanese teaching approach. In the study that aims to elucidate the knowledge taught in primary school mathematics teacher education, both the process of the lessons and the teacher educator’s teaching methods are explicitly described and analysed. It turns out that the more striking feature of the Japanese teacher educator’s is the theorised teaching approach which is further highlighted through the comparison with similar lessons observed in Finnish and Swedish teacher education. One process of producing such theorised knowledge is analysed through the comments of the Japanese lower secondary teachers in service during a post-lesson reflection in the context of an open lesson. Teachers’ comments observed at the reflection meeting are categorised and modelled from an institutional perspective. The analysis shows how the teachers’ foci regarding the teaching techniques of the observed lesson are related to different aims of the teaching of the mathematics. We analyse what kinds of elements influence the teachers’ different foci, and how the elements facilitate the realisation of generic educational goals by way of concrete teaching techniques. Finally, the thesis investigates critical phenomena, which arise in an attempt to transfer Japanese teaching practices and resources to a new context (Swedish lower secondary school) with a different teaching environment, in which teachers have different scripts for mathematics lessons. The analysis, based on a reference model that make explicit the researcher’s criteria about the different teaching techniques related to different didactic goals, shows which of the Japanese teaching techniques the Swedish teacher had difficulties to implement. The model supplied by the ATD is further used to explain the conditions and constraints, which brought about these difficulties. The three studies together explore central aspects of the complex process of establishing the Japanese teachers’ professional knowledge, and how it disseminates in their communities. The correlation between the dissemination of such theorised shared knowledge, and well-established systems that provide opportunities and resources for designing and reflecting on lessons, is also discussed.