The nature of the knowledge for teaching Year 6 geometry in Taiwan
pedagogical content knowledge
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Abstract?? 2012 Dr. Pi-Chun Chiang
This study investigates the nature of Taiwanese Year 6 teachers' knowledge for teaching geometry (KTG), and its relationship to their general and professional backgrounds. There is a case study of ten Year 6 teachers with in-depth classroom observations and interviews, which shows the nature of the teachers' KTG. There is also a written questionnaire for 152 teachers from a stratified random sample of 30 schools from across Taiwan, which demonstrates the relationship between teachers' personal backgrounds and their KTG. After analyzing the data by both qualitative and quantitative methods, the result shows that the Taiwanese Year 6 teachers are fully educated on geometric content knowledge (GCK) and geometric pedagogical content knowledge (GPCK) for teaching. However, the teachers generally performed weakly on their geometric curricular knowledge (GCuK). In particular, the use of IT materials, the improvement of reasoning abilities, and the updating of the knowledge of curriculum content will be the main themes that the Year 6 teachers need improve in the future. Additionally, the attributes in teachers??? general background (TGB) mainly affected their GCK for teaching, whereas the attributes of teachers??? professional background (TPB) plays a significant role in influencing both the teachers??? GCK and GPCK performances. These results also support previous research that the teachers??? GCK does relate to their personal backgrounds (e.g., Fackler, 2006; Ross, Bruce & Hogaboam-Gray, 2006; Shacter & Thum, 2004). However, the result conflicts with the finding from the study by Hill (2007) which found that the teachers??? PCK had a positive relationship with their length of teaching experience. The teachers who taught for more than 15 years did not perform better on GPCK than the teachers in this study who had fewer years of teaching experience. The result in this study shows how the different routes of teachers??? training and attendance frequency at professional development (PD) programs in mathematics or geometry in Taiwan do affect the Year 6 teachers different KTG performances. Thus, there is still room to improve the system of teachers education in Taiwan.
Chiang, P. (2012). The nature of the knowledge for teaching Year 6 geometry in Taiwan. Doctorate, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne.