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Lesson planning is a critical aspect of teachers’ planning for instruction. Beginning teachers are first introduced to the writing of lesson plans as part of their pre-service teacher education. Often these teachers adopt generic templates to write their plans that focus on a few main concerns such as how they would introduce the lesson, what mathematical concepts or skills they would develop, how they would check for student understanding and lastly how they would conclude the lesson. These templates often lack attributes for a push for deeper thinking and framing of mathematical tasks that teachers may engage students with so as to enact a robust mathematics lesson.
Research has shown that a mathematically robust lesson is one in which the mathematics is focused and coherent, the cognitive demand of work students engage with is appropriate, and students have agency, authority and identity for the learning of mathematics. In such a lesson, classroom discourse is a lens through which the teacher can assess student learning. The 2018 revised secondary school mathematics curriculum for Singapore schools’ places emphasis on Big Ideas in Mathematics, with the aim for
students to develop mathematical knowledge as a body of connected knowledge rather that isolated bits of knowledge spread across the years of schooling. For teachers to teach towards Big Ideas, they need to make deliberate plans about how they would enact the core of their mathematics instruction, comprising content, task and discourse. To facilitate their planning a tool may be warranted.
The study had two objectives. The first objective was to draw on existing literature of research to propose a lesson planning tool that teachers may adopt as a guide to plan mathematically-balanced lessons. The tool aimed to focus teachers on the core aspects of a mathematically-balanced lesson through a set of guiding prompts. The core aspects were Content: What am I teaching?, Task: What can I use? and Discourse: How can I facilitate learning? The second objective was to document the tool’s efficacy, and suggest possible revisions if necessary.
A significant outcome of the study is a Content-Task-Discourse Planning Tool that may support the professional development of mathematics teachers in Singapore secondary schools. This tool facilitates the planning of a lesson or sequences of lessons by teachers, either individually or collaboratively, ensuring that students engage with meaningful learning of mathematics that allows them experience mathematics as a body of connected ideas. It also facilitates the development of teachers, novices and experts alike, whilst they engage collaboratively in planning for mathematics instruction in their respective schools.
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checked on Aug 13, 2022
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