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Vania Castro, Student, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, United States

Ethnomathematical Games as an Alternative Strategy: Empowering Intermediate Phase Mathematics Teachers

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Safura Meeran  

With the poor performance in mathematics being so widely reported, the need to improve mathematics education is a national concern (Daily News, 2019). Mathematics is still being widely taught in a teacher-centred, Eurocentric instructional approach, which may be a factor in both learner performance and attitude towards the subject. The purpose, therefore, of this study is to explore the perceptions of Intermediate Phase Mathematics teachers of an intervention programme on indigenous ethnomathematical games to teach mathematical concepts. The methodology followed a qualitative case study design. Ten mathematics teachers from different schools in KwaZulu-Natal were selected to be part of the focus group discussion that took place after the intervention programme on ethnomathematical games was completed. Findings reveal that the ethnomathematical games were a novel idea to the teachers that had not been previously explored. They did, however, also foresee potential challenges that may arise, such as difficulties in playing the game. The recommendation is that indigenous games be used in the classroom to create new avenues for making mathematics interesting and a more authentic, fun approach to learning. It is therefore suggested that education departments start exploring these initiatives to workshop teachers. The aim of this study was to provide teachers with contextually relevant approaches to teaching mathematics. Future research could explore whether indigenous games have the potential to improve the performance of learners in mathematics classrooms.

Educating Teachers for Diversity in a Digital World: Engaging Teacher Candidates in Discussing Controversial Issues View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Ernest Oluwole Pratt  

Teacher candidates are sometimes ill-equipped/reluctant to discuss controversial social, political, racial, socio-economic, cultural, or religious issues. But as future teachers, they should be challenged to discuss controversial issues. Using on-line technology provides a safe space in engaging teacher candidates in discussing controversial issues. The goal of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is to ensure that educator preparation providers (EPPs) prepare future teachers who know the content of the subject(s) they will teach, know how to teach that content effectively to students from diverse groups... With the emphasis on diversity in teacher preparation, multicultural education plays an important role in preparing future teachers. But according to Villegas & Lucas (2002), a singular focus on the “what’s” of multicultural education without addressing the critical elements of organizational culture and climate may produce virtuous feelings but inconsequential and perfunctory results. This approach to multiculturalism assumes teacher candidates lack relevant knowledge and gives limited attention to other models of cross-cultural education (Irvine, 2003). The essence of a healthy democracy is open dialogue about issues of public concern (Harwood & Hahn, 2009). A multicultural education course provides an important platform in a teacher education program for addressing controversial issues. As future teachers, teacher candidates need to be equipped with the tools necessary to succeed in the modern world.

Evaluating the Capacity of a Preparation Program to Train Educational Leaders Who Promote a Supportive and Inclusive School Culture Post COVID-19

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Douglas Hermond,  L.S. Spencer, Jr.,  Janice Taylor  

Our investigation is designed to determine whether prospective school leaders are equipped to develop and maintain a supportive, equitable, responsive, and inclusive school culture in order to optimize the success of every student, as specified by the National Educational Leadership Program standards. Such organizational resilience takes shape along three skill dimensions: a. Leaders can use data to evaluate, design, cultivate, and advocate for a supportive and inclusive school culture; b. They can evaluate, and advocate for equitable access to educational resources, technologies, and opportunities that support the educational success and well-being of each student, and; c. They are competent at monitoring, cultivating, and advocating for equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive instruction and behavior support practices among teachers and staff. Our approach is to survey some 40 current candidates in an educational leadership preparation program to determine the degree to which they have mastered these three skills in order to foster a supportive, equitable, responsive, and inclusive school culture. Additionally, we will prompt each to respond to the following: 1. How do you define equity-focused leadership? 2. Provide one example of how you would apply equity-focused leadership. We will use these data to augment our leadership preparation program by filling any gaps in our curriculum and instruction to furnish our candidates with the skills to rebuild organizational resilience in our schools, needed now more than ever given the challenges of COVID-19.

Making and Adding Sense in Remote/Hybrid Language Teacher Education View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Luciana Parnaiba De Castro  

This paper reflects on my process of making and adding sense as an English professor in a remote/hybrid language teacher education context, based on the functions of meaning (COPE; KALANTZIS, 2020). Beyond identifying different modes of meaning making (text, image, space, object, body, sound, and speech), Cope & Kalantzis (2020) invite us to look at the functions of meaning created through these modes (reference, agency, structure, context, and interest). In remote/hybrid language education, the modes of meaning-making we already knew became more complex, since they were available not only in different media (printed and digital texts, for example), but in different contexts (socioeconomic, geographical, in-person, online), and for different people, with different agendas. Through the meaning functions, we might be able to understand what things are about in these new contexts, who or what is doing things, how things are correlated, what are the connections, and who is making decisions. In this presentation, I analyze these functions of meaning based on the subjects and modes and media involved in my language classes, some of the actions we took, the structures of both remote and hybrid classes, the different contexts involved and finally the interests. Therefore, by analyzing these new contexts we might be able to better understand the transformations we are facing in education.

Digital Media

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