Proceedings of The 5th International Academic Conference on Education
Enhancing Pre-Service Teachers’ Understanding of a Mathematical Concept Through Practices: A Constructivist Perspective
This paper addresses the ways that Tanzanian university pre-service mathematics teachers (PSTs) practiced teaching the concept of pi in a daylong research meeting. The research meeting focused on enhancing the PSTs’ understanding of a mathematical concept through practices in the research meeting. In particular, the activities were designed and implemented based on practice as one of the five components of the concept-rich instruction (CRI). The intention in using the activities based on practice was to enhance PSTs’ pedagogical knowledge and skills through participating in designing and performing micro-teaching for teaching the concept while using local circular objects as teaching and learning resources. The PSTs worked in small groups while designing the lesson plans and performing micro-teaching. Audio-video recordings and group learning notes were used to collect qualitative data in the research meeting. The collected data were analysed focused on the ways that PSTs practiced related on the concept. It was found that the activities helped PSTs to enhance their understanding on how to teach pi as a concept, including designing the lesson plans for teaching the concept using local circular objects, performing micro-teaching and demonstrating measuring the diameter and circumference of a circular object using a set of vernier callipers, a string and a ruler. These findings have implications in the teaching and learning of mathematics in university mathematics classes, including PSTs can gain pedagogical knowledge and skills how to engage learners in a participatory way of learning as well as learning by doing.