Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

FLEX Project: Flexible Pedagogical Problem solving in Implementing Mathematical Problem solving

Despite attempts to change mathematics teacher practice in to more engaging pedagogy, many teachers possess an inertia to such change. This study explores a new angle to overcoming that inertia by interrogating the question: Is teachers’ optimism (resilience) or lack thereof associated with teachers’ inclination or disinclination to explore pedagogically and mathematically when implementing problem solving activity? Teacher activity during a whole school Professional Learning Programs (based on Engaged to Learn pedagogy) is studied from various perspectives: reasoning eliciting (Herbert), noticing (Bragg), questioning (Widjaja), and optimistic activity (Williams). The feasibility of synthesising these persepctives will answer questions about whether teacher optimism is linked to high quality pedagogical practices. Findings will add to the body of knowledge on whether building teacher characteristics is crucial to building flexible pedagogical practices.

Team members:

  • Dr. Gaye Williams,
  • Dr. Sandra Herbert,
  • Dr. Leicha Bragg,
  • Dr. Wanty Wadjaja,
  • now retired: Esther Loong, Libby Hirsh, Jun Li

Funding: Fees paid by schools in Professional Learning Programs (prior to the research); DET, REDI, monies received for Gaye Williams’ research from other STEM Projects.

Publication: Williams, G. (2016). Inclining to explore mathematically and pedagogically: Students and teachers possessing the same characteristics. In W. Widjaja, E. Y-K Loong, and L. A. Bragg (Eds.). Maths explosion 2016. Melbourne (pp: 87-97) Victoria: Mathematics Association of Victoria. [Keynote address, MAV conference].