Eric.ed.gov – Professional Development Programs: Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) and Math as Text (MAT)

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Many people feel mathematics education in the U.S. is in need of improvement. Fennema and Franke (1992) note that teachers’ knowledge (or lack thereof) is often associated with poor instruction and thus, low student achievement on instruments which measure mathematical aptitude. For this reason, universities across the country have become mathematical and pedagogical (re)-training grounds for future, novice, and even experienced teachers. Fennema et al. (1996) indicate that the object of many professional development programs is to instill in teachers the kind of knowledge which will enable them to modify their own teaching so that students understand mathematics in a more meaningful way. But these authors also note that there is little agreement and even less evidence pointing to what specific knowledge is actually needed by teachers in order for them to better facilitate mathematical understanding among their students. Is it merely more formal mathematical knowledge? Is it exposure to reformed style classroom environments? Is it more pedagogical knowledge? If so, is it a matter of becoming better trained in certain instructional strategies? Or is it understanding how young people normally think about mathematical ideas, their misconceptions, their innate abilities? Several professional development programs are currently being used in an attempt to explore and answer these questions (Ball, 1995). I will be outlining two approaches to professional development in the following essay. The first is Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) and the second is Math As Text (MAT). I will begin by briefly outlining how the program is implemented. I will also include information on the benefits it has shown for elementary teachers (and in the case of CGI, student benefits as well). I will finish by describing which approach I would use, and how I would implement my approach.

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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