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Teachers' attitudes towards the concept of realistic mathematics

Vesna Balant (2017) Teachers' attitudes towards the concept of realistic mathematics. MSc thesis.

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    The concept of realistic mathematics is one among Dutch didactic processes of teaching that roots back to the 1960s. Realistic mathematics is allowing pupils to pass from non-formal strategies and knowledge to formal mathematic notions by implementing techniques of experiential learning. As such the main feature of this concept is reflected from real life experiences and problems of pupils. The mathematic problems have to offer pupils different questions and problems for them to solve alone. With this they have to become aware how to use this problem-solving process in the future and in everyday life. Theoretic part of the master thesis is composed by the presentation of the realistic mathematics education (RME). The focus is on the origin, the development and methodical-theoretical basis of core principles that every teacher has to keep in mind when planning the classes according to RME. These are enhanced with examples of good practice. The literature revealed many different studies that are based on researching the realistic mathematic concept and its influence on mathematic knowledge and strategies. Nevertheless, the aim of this master thesis is primarily to research the position of teachers towards this concept. In the empirical part, the qualitative research method was used. Small but non-coincidental sample was composed of 10 teachers who are in the school year 2016/17 teaching in primary schools, first to fifth classes in the region of Central Slovenia. These teachers have evaluated the RME approach based on watching two videos of lessons using many RME principles. The results showed that teachers generally continue to apply classical teaching techniques, but are unknowingly also using some elements of RME. However, they are not familiar with concepts and features of the studied approach. They do recognise it as a successful and useful approach, as it allows and encourages pupils’ thinking, independence, team work, expressing opinions and reflection, which contributes to improved mathematical knowledge. As one of the weaknesses of this concept the teachers highlighted the amount of preparation and the extra time needed for mastering the learning content, especially for slow learners.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: realistic mathematics education, basic principles of realistic mathematics, pupil, teacher, principles
    Number of Pages: 71
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Tatjana Hodnik ČadežMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11624009)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4542
    Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 07:21
    Last Modified: 12 Jul 2017 07:21
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4542

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