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Attitudes towards Diverse Learners: A Hybrid Technology Course for Secondary School Mathematics Pre/In-Service Teachers

Author(s): Faith Maina (State University of New York College at Oswego, USA) and Marcia M. Burrell (State University of New York College at Oswego, USA)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 21
EISBN13: 9781466626034

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Abstract

University educators are often faced with the challenging task of equipping both pre-service and in-service teachers with the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively teach diverse students. It becomes even more problematic to teach mathematics when using a problem solving approach where mathematical ways of knowing are emphasized. These teachers tend to believe that mathematics is “just numbers,” “speaks a universal language,” is “culturally neutral” and has no relevance whatsoever with social issues that affect students. Coupled with this is the mistaken belief that “people know or don’t know math.” Pre/in service teachers, often meet the notion that math literacy can be achieved by all learners with skepticism and patronizing behaviors. However, given the space to step outside the classroom, talk with peers, and argue with veteran teachers, a shift in attitude about the potential for diverse student potential is self-evident. These preliminary findings were assembled when a hybrid course that enrolled eight pre/in-service teachers was developed.

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