|Abstract or Summary
- This investigation of secondary geometry teachers'
decision making in a mathematics curricular reform context
examined the following questions: (a) What planning and
interactive decisions were secondary geometry teachers
making during this time of reform, and (b) what factors
influenced the decisions that these teachers made? In
addition, comparisons were generated between influential
factors identified during a mathematics reform context and
the stable context of previous decision making studies.
A multi-case study approach involving detailed
examination of five geometry teachers' decision making was
used. The data collected and analyzed included a
questionnaire, interviews, observational field notes,
audiotapes and videotapes of classroom instruction, and
written instructional documents. Teachers' profiles were
created describing geometry and teaching biographies, views
toward curricular change, the classroom, planning decisions
and influential factors, and interactive decisions and
influential factors. Findings were developed by searching
for similarities and differences across the sample.
Teachers' decisions generated descriptions of their
geometry courses. One teacher promoted geometry as a
mathematical system using predominantly a lecture approach.
The other four teachers advocated a multifaceted view of
geometry recognizing geometry as a mathematical system and
as a setting for developing communication and problem
solving skills. In addition, the four teachers' courses
included references to connections between geometry and the
real world. These four teachers used a variety of
instructional approaches that encouraged students' active
involvement in their geometry learning with an emphasis on
developing student understanding.
Factors influencing teachers' decisions included:
(a) past geometry experiences, (b) professional development
experiences, (c) articulated course goals, (d) advanced
planning decisions, (e) teachers' beliefs, (f) the geometry
textbook and other materials, (g) teachers' school
settings, and (h) students' needs and actions. Some
findings highlighted differences between this study and
previous decision making studies. All teachers in this
study appeared to be influenced by their beliefs about the
nature of geometry as a discipline. Teachers were also
influenced by whether they viewed the process of becoming
an effective teacher as a life-long process. For four of
the teachers, reform agendas were influential as another
source of curriculum ideas.