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Messy but meaningful: exploring the transition to reform-based pedagogy with teachers of mathematics and coordinators in Ontario, Canada

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The RE4MUL8 Project involved the creation of an online/mobile resource for Intermediate Division (Grade 7 and 8) teachers of mathematics. This resource showcases video documentaries of seven key mathematics topic lessons (fractions, integers, proportional reasoning, composite shapes and solids, solving equations, and, patterning and algebraic thinking), as delivered by seven teachers in Ontario, Canada who were nominated by their respective District School Boards as being, or becoming, highly effective practitioners in the area of reform-based mathematics education. As part of a qualitative case study research design, these teachers, often along with their math coordinators, were then interviewed following the lesson, and shared reflections on the lesson itself and, more generally, on their ongoing journey towards reform-based mathematics teaching. This paper reports on three major themes that emerged from these discussions, namely, problem-based learning, the reality and necessity of ‘messy time’ transition to reform-based pedagogy, and, balancing instructional planning and practices.
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Keywords: change; education; mathematics; problem-based learning; professional learning; reformulate; technology; transition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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