An Investigation Into How Teachers Develop Connected Approaches To School Mathematics
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This thesis details the longitudinal case study of a mathematics department as they implemented aspects of the Collaborative Connected Classroom (CCC) Model, a literature informed framework exemplifying teaching for understanding. The CCC Model describes the nature of mathematical activity as: activities build on learners’ prior knowledge; tasks connect different areas of mathematics or connect different ideas using multiple representations; links are made between procedures and concepts; tasks involve making comparisons and application tasks are presented as challenges. A CPD programme was designed to demonstrate the CCC Model to the department through a series of engaging, challenging and inspiring activities. Then, over a sustained period the department actively experimented with different aspects. Data was collected using four in-depth semi-structured interviews, triangulated with learning walks, book scrutinies and presentations given by department members. A Teacher Development Model (TDM) emerged to measure which aspects of the CCC Model teachers were implementing as they progressed through the phases of: awareness; guided exploration; independent exploration; independent development and transformation of their practice. The derivation of the Professional Mathematical Growth Model which is situated entirely within a change environment that is both social and professional was theorised to explain the mechanisms that supported the change process. The study concludes that: research informed, inspiring, sustained CPD; trust and collaboration; responses from learners; the strategy of ‘what’s the same and what’s different?’ combined with an increased professionalism and school focus on action research were all positive stimuli to support ‘teaching for understanding’. These findings will be of interest to individuals who design and implement CPD programmes particularly those within mathematics education. There are applications of the emerged TDM and the Professional Mathematical Growth Model to others interested in looking at the process of teacher change or for teachers themselves as a reflective tool.