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  1. 1. Towards the development of an online Community of Practice for Mathematical Literacy teachers Maggie Verster Duan Van der Westhuizen
  2. 2. What is Maths Lit (ML)? A Jamaican man wants a job, but the foreman won't hire him until he passes a little maths test.
  3. 3. Here is your first question, the foreman said.   " Without using numbers , represent the number 9 ."
  4. 4. "Without numbers?"   The Jamaican says, "Dat is easy." And proceeds to draw three trees.
  5. 5. "What's this?" the boss asks "Ave you got no brain?   Tree and tree and tree make nine ," says the Jamaican.
  6. 6. "Fair enough," says the boss.   "Here's your second question.   Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99 ."
  7. 7. The Jamaican stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree. "Ere you go."
  8. 8. The boss scratches his head and says, "How on earth do you get that to represent 99 ?" "Each of da trees is dirty now.   So, it's dirty tree , and dirty tree , and dirty tree .   Dat is 99 ."
  9. 9. The boss is getting worried that he's going to actually have to hire this Jamaican, so he says, "All right, last question.   Same rules again, but represent the number 100."
  10. 10. The Jamaican stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, Ere you go.  One hundred."
  11. 11. The boss looks at the attempt.   "You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!"
  12. 12. The Jamaican leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and says, "A little dog come along and crap by each tree.   So now you got dirty tree and a turd , dirty tree and a turd , and dirty tree and a turd , which makes one hundred ."
  13. 13. <ul><li>&quot;SO, WHEN I  START?&quot; </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>ML provides learners with an awareness and understanding of the role that mathematics plays in the modern world . </li></ul><ul><li>MLis a subject driven by life-related applications of mathematics. </li></ul><ul><li>It enables learners to develop the ability and confidence to think numerically and spatially in order to interpret and critically analyse everyday situations and to solve problems . </li></ul>What is mathematical literacy (ML)
  15. 15. CoP: Communities of practice <ul><li>“ Communities of practice are groups of people who share </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a concern </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a set of problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a passion about a topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and who wants to deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by interacting on an ongoing basis ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( Wenger , McDermott & Snyder, 2002:29 </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. The problem(s) <ul><li>New subject </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Textbooks </li></ul><ul><li>Context vs Content </li></ul>
  17. 17. Teacher Problems <ul><li>Overload – time </li></ul><ul><li>Novice Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate training </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers as learners </li></ul><ul><li>Negative learner & parent perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Levels </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Solution?? Online community of practice (CoP) ML Learning Ecology Design Experiment Identify the problem (s) Design an intervention Implement Analyse & Revise ML Tech tools
  19. 19. <ul><li>Technology tools </li></ul>ML Practice Interactions Artifacts Learning ecology Knowledge How…..What CoP Lurkers Active members Researcher
  20. 20. ML Practice <ul><li>Issues and problems </li></ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Skills & Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Resource s </li></ul>
  21. 21. Technology Tools <ul><li>Website & Secure FTP </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail distribution list </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Files uploads -Download/ Polls / Pictures / Shared links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IM chats (Yahoo/ Windows Messenger / Gabbly ) </li></ul><ul><li>Future: Podcasts, Wiki’s, Blogging, Skypecasts, Mxit…, </li></ul>
  22. 22. Interactions <ul><li>Sharing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tacit Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul>
  23. 23. Artifacts <ul><li>E-mail discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Chat transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Shared documents </li></ul><ul><li>Recordings </li></ul><ul><li>Video s </li></ul>
  24. 24. So what happened?
  25. 25. Technological Challenges <ul><li>Access problems </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher computer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing the right tools </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thutong / Yahoo / Moodle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Registration problems </li></ul><ul><li>Scanned documents </li></ul><ul><li>Chat problem s </li></ul>
  26. 26. Teacher challenges <ul><li>Slow start </li></ul><ul><li>Time problems </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher resistance to collaborating online </li></ul><ul><li>Lurkers  Active member s </li></ul>
  27. 27. Jareeebaaaaa….!!!! <ul><li>107 members and growing……… </li></ul><ul><li>130 uploaded tests & exams / assignments/worksheets….. </li></ul><ul><li>Face 2 Face workshops  </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual tea parties  </li></ul><ul><li>Access to “Expert” members </li></ul><ul><li>Personal development </li></ul><ul><li>Constant support + mentorin g </li></ul>
  28. 28. Conclusion <ul><li>Sharing are taking place </li></ul><ul><li>It is providing a support space for teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Blended approach must be taken further </li></ul><ul><li>Lurkers must be enticed to become active member s </li></ul>
  29. 29. Bibliography <ul><li>[1] Department of Education, (2003). National Curriculum Statement Grades 10 – 12 (General) Overview. Available from http://education.pwv.gov.za/content/documents/92.pdf . (Accessed on 23 July 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>[2] Mbekwa, M (2006) Teachers’ views on mathematical literacy and on experiences as students of the course. Pythagoras, no 63, June 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>[3] Department of Education (2003). National Curriculum Statements Grades 10-12 (General) Mathematical literacy. Available from http://www.education.gov.za/content/documents/111.pdf (Accessed on 4 April 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>[4] Rademeyer, A (2006) Gr. 10’s se punte daal kwaai, sê talle skoolhoofde. Beeld Available from (Accessed on 27 July 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>[5] Brombacher, A, (2005). Maths literacy vital for life today. Cape Times Insight 1 March 2005 – Available from http://www.easymaths.org.za/aaaaaa/resources/articles/archive/2005/Arnold.pdf (Accessed on 4 April 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>[6] Macmillan’s assessment guides (2006). Available online from http://www.thutong.org.za/resources/Macmillan/Assessment%20Site/index.htm (Accessed on 16 March 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>[7] Adler, B (2001) What is dyscalculia. Available online from www.dyscalciliainfo.org . Accessed on 23 February 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>[8] Wenger, E, McDermott, R & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice. Harvard Business School Press. Boston, MA. </li></ul><ul><li>[9] McDermott, R (1999) Building Three-Dimensional Communities. Knowledge Management Review. 11 November/December. </li></ul><ul><li>[10] Havelock, B. (2004) Online communities and Professional Learning in Education: Research-Based Keys to Sustainability. Available online at http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm/files/paper_1679.pdf?fuseaction=Reader.DownloadFullText&paper_id=1679 . (Accessed on 5 April 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>[11] Seely Brown, J (1999) Learning, Working & Playing in the Digital Age. Available online from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_edu/seelybrown/seelybrownorig.html Accessed 14.03.2007 </li></ul><ul><li>[12] Seely Brown, J. & Duguid, P.  (1998)  &quot;Organizing knowledge.&quot; California Management Review,   40 (3), 90-111 </li></ul><ul><li>[13] Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>[14] Siemens, G (2003) Learning Ecology, Communities, and Networks. Extending the classroom Available online from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/learning_communities.htm Accessed 03.03.2007 </li></ul><ul><li>[15] Association of Mathematics Educators of South Africa. Available online at http://www.amesa.org.za </li></ul><ul><li>[16] Innovative Teachers Network. Available at http://itn.thutong.org.za/ </li></ul>