Middle School Pre-service Mathematics Teachers’ Perceptions of Mathematical Beauty in Online Module Discussions
George Gadanidis, Cornelia Hoogland, Daniel Jarvis, Tara-Lynn Scheffel, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Atlanta, GA, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-52-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
We present a study of over 100 middle school pre-service teachers' online discussions of mathematical beauty. The goal of the study is to identify how the pre-service teachers perceive mathematical 'beauty'. The pre-service teachers were part of a teacher education program that included nine online modules, a mathematics teaching methods textbook that was available online, and an asynchronous discussion forum where they discussed module questions. Pre-service teachers appeared to have experienced the idea of mathematical beauty in five broad areas: (i) beauty in understanding; (ii) beauty in application; (iii) beauty in connections; (iv) beauty in the appreciation of the nature of mathematics; and (v) beauty in mathematical discovery/creativity. We also discuss issues relating to the design of aesthetic online mathematical experiences, and make suggestions for improving the online component of our pre-service teacher education program.
Gadanidis, G., Hoogland, C., Jarvis, D. & Scheffel, T.L. (2004). Middle School Pre-service Mathematics Teachers’ Perceptions of Mathematical Beauty in Online Module Discussions. In R. Ferdig, C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, N. Davis, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2004--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 4438-4445). Atlanta, GA, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).