Original Research: Mathematics Education

Investigating the quality and content of five teachers’ reflection on their teaching of mathematics

A. Barbara Posthuma, Jacobus G. Maree, Gerrit Stols
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 32, No 1 | a400 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v32i1.400 | © 2013 A. Barbara Posthuma, Jacobus G. Maree, Gerrit Stols | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 March 2013 | Published: 15 October 2013

About the author(s)

A. Barbara Posthuma, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Jacobus G. Maree, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Gerrit Stols, Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Not much research has been done on mathematics teachers’ reflective practice in South Africa. This article reports on the quality and content of mathematics teachers’ reflections on a lesson within the context of lesson study. The aim of the study was to investigate the quality and content of five mathematics teachers’ reflections before, during and after teaching a lesson. The five teachers (two males, three females) reflected collaboratively on their own as well as on their colleagues’ teaching of mathematics. The teachers were selected purposely to participate in the study. Qualitative data were gathered using interviews, lesson plans, classroom observations and reflective writings. The findings indicated that whereas all the mathematics teachers reflected on-action verbally and in writing, three of the teachers reflected in-action while teaching. Based on lesson plan analysis, there was no evidence that these teachers reflected for-action. Two teachers reflected critically on their learners’ understanding of mathematics and their own teaching of concepts. Being a member of the lesson study group experience emerged as a contextual factor that seemed to influence these teachers’ reflections in a positive way. However, the teachers’ inadequate linguistic skills and inability to verbalise basic mathematical concepts properly seemed to influence their reflective practice negatively.

Keywords

Mathematics; Reflective practice; Lesson Study

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