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Title: Professional development of Turkish primary mathematics teachers within a computer-integrated learning environment : an exploration of changes in beliefs
Author: Kul, Umit
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2013
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The curriculum for primary mathematics in Turkish schools was revised in 2005, and one of the aims of this reform was to introduce constructivist approaches to the learning and teaching of mathematics. When instigating changes in the Turkish educational context, only minimal attention was given to the professional development (PD) of mathematics teachers. Thus, in this study a PD course was created to offer participants an opportunity to experience the role of the learner in a computer-integrated setting. The intention was to provide them with better theoretical and practical comprehension of mathematics teaching and learning. The study investigated six Turkish primary teachers’ beliefs pertaining to the following fields: the nature of mathematics, its teaching and learning, the use of technology, prior to and following their involvement in a PD course designed using a Dynamic Geometry Systems based on a constructivist approach. The objective of this study was to examine how they in such a professional learning setting formalise their beliefs. A multiple case study design was used to explore mathematics teachers’ beliefs and to examine the dynamics of teachers’ belief shifts. The data generation instruments used in the study included observation, semi-structured interviews, participants’ writings and questionnaires. The qualitative analysis of the data revealed that teachers’ beliefs were transformed to some extent in support of fallibilist views regarding mathematics along with constructivist views about teaching and learning of mathematics. In fact, the connection between stated beliefs and intended teaching is complex and the social contexts of teaching were very influential on teachers’ pedagogical decisions, participants’ world views about the nature of mathematics serving as a primary source of their beliefs about pedagogy and student learning; this connection was not clear. The research findings also reveal a substantial change in participants’ beliefs in favour of the use of technology in general and in particular in the use of GeoGebra, in their teaching. The findings from this study have implications for Turkish primary mathematics education and teacher belief literature. Further research is needed in order to capture the complexity involved in the cultural dimensions that influence teaching mathematics.
Supervisor: Ainley, Janet Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available