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Rocha, H. "Interdisciplinary tasks: pre-service teachers’ choice and approach." Science and mathematics education in the 21st century. Eds. L. Leite, and et al. Brussels: ATEE and CIEd, 2019. 82-93. Abstract

This study focusses on the criteria used by pre-service teachers of Mathematics to choose interdisciplinary tasks. The pre-service teachers’ knowledge is assumed as the basis of the actions taken and used as the origin of the choices and approaches observed. The study adopts a qualitative and interpretative methodology and the data were collected using class observation and interviews. The analysis is guided by the Application and Pedagogical Content Knowledge, a model inspired on TPACK (from Mishra and Koehler) and MKT (from Ball and colleagues). The conclusions point to an appreciation of the mathematical part of the tasks and to a devaluation of the remaining components. This suggests difficulty in articulating and integrating different domains of knowledge and points to a fragmented view of the potential of using mathematical applications.

Rocha, H. The impact of technologies on the teacher's use of different representations. Proceedings of 12th International Conference onTechnology in Mathematics Teaching. Faro: Universidade do Algarve, 2015. Abstract

This study intends to characterize how the teacher uses and integrates the different representations provided by the graphing calculator on the process of teaching and learning functions at the secondary level. Specifically, it intends to understand the balance established between the use of the different representations, and the way these representations are articulated. The conclusions reached point to an active use of the graphic and algebraic representations and to a scarce use of the tabular representation. The conclusions also point to a flexible articulation between the two representations usual used, assuming different forms and frequently an interactive approach, repeatedly switching between representations.

Rocha, H. "The impact of teachers' knowledge on the connection between technology supported exploration and mathematical proof." European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. 11.4 (2023): 635-649. AbstractWebsite

Technology is recognized for its potential to implement exploration tasks. The ease and speed with which it becomes possible to observe many cases of a situation, allows the development of conjectures and brings conviction about their veracity. Mathematical proof, assumed as the essence of Mathematics, tends to appear to the students as something dispensable. Based on KTMT – Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics with Technology model, this study intends to understand the impact of the teachers’ knowledge on mathematical proof in a context of technology integration. The study adopts a qualitative and interpretative methodology, based on case study, analyzing the practice of one teacher. The conclusions emphasize the relevance of the teacher’s MTK – Mathematics and Technology Knowledge, and TLTK – Teaching and Learning and Technology Knowledge. The teacher's MTK guides her decisions, leading her to focus on helping students understand the meaning of conjecture and proof, valuing, at the same time, the relevance of algebraic manipulations. However, the teacher’s TLTK guides her practice, where the knowledge about the students is determinant. The study provides evidence about the difficulty of articulating proof and technology, but it also clarifies the relevance of this articulation and of how the teacher’s KTMT can impact the teacher’s decisions.

Rocha, H. The impact of the cultural context on the professional practice of the teacher. Proceedings of 8th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation. Seville, Spain: ICERI, 2015. Abstract

THE IMPACT OF THE CULTURAL CONTEXT ON THE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF THE TEACHER

H. Rocha

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (PORTUGAL)

The professional knowledge is a key element of the teacher’s practice. This knowledge is naturally influenced by the teacher’s beliefs and conceptions and by his training, but the context where he develops his practice is perhaps the most decisive influence. At this level, the school where the teacher works and his colleagues are a powerful influence, but the characteristics of his students are even a stronger influence. The cultural diversity of the students and specifically the linguistic diversity are highly relevant elements. A classroom where different languages converge is always a complex context which requires a deeper professional knowledge with inevitable repercussions over the teacher’s practice.

This study focuses on a teacher working with a mathematics’ class of foreign students with heavy linguistic limitations on the language of instruction and it intends to analyze the impact of this context on the teacher’s practice. In particular, it intends to analyze how this context interferes with the characteristics of the tasks proposed by the teacher and with the way how mathematical concepts are presented to the students.

The study adopts a qualitative and interpretative methodological approach, undertaking one teacher case study. Data were collected during one school year by semi-structured interviews, class observation, and documental data gathering. All interviews and classes observed were audio taped and transcribed. Data analysis was conducted in an interpretative way.

The conclusions reached point to an increase on the appreciation of mechanization, to a large reduction in the use of problematic situations and to a presentation of Mathematics as calculation, disconnected from any application, and where reasoning appears as a marginal element or is even missing. The use of several examples becomes a key element of the practice of this teacher. The main finding of this study suggests that language limitations caused a strong impact on the practice of a teacher who considers the understanding and the development of reasoning from the discussion around mathematical ideas as central to the teaching of this subject. It was also possible to identify that the need to find a way to communicate reinforced the formalism of the mathematical language, placing it in the center of the learning process.

Keywords: cultural context, teacher’s practice, mathematics.

Rocha, H. The impact of technology on the teachers’ use of different representations. CERME. Utrecht, Holanda: ERME, 2019. Abstract

The potential of using different representations is widely recognized, but not much is known about how teachers use them nor about the impact of the technology on such use. The goal of this study is to characterize the teachers’ representational fluency when teaching functions at high school level, discussing, at the same time, the impact in the use of representations resulting from the use of technology. Adopting a qualitative approach, I analyze one teacher’s practice. The results suggest that algebraic and graphical representations are seen as more important, that tabular representation is assumed as irrelevant and that the access to technology impacts the learning, the representations used and how they are used.

Rocha, H. The influence of teacher’s knowledge for teaching mathematics with technology on the implementation of investigation tasks. Proceedings of 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference. Valencia, Spain: INTED, 2014.
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Viseu, F., and H. Rocha. "Interdisciplinary technological approaches from a mathematics education point of view." Science and mathematics education for 21st century citizens: challenges and ways forward. Eds. L. Leite, E. Oldham, A. Afonso, F. Viseu, L. Dourado, and H. Martinho. Nova Science Publishers, 2020. Abstract

Mathematics has a strong presence in the school curriculum, often justified by its usefulness in social life, in the world of work and by its connections with other sciences. This interdisciplinary connection, in particular when it requires constructing and refining mathematical models and discussing their applications to solve problems of other sciences, can assist students to understand why mathematics is so important in school. In the development of interdisciplinary activities, the characteristics of the tasks emerge as an important aspect. The emphasis is on the use of technological materials and the way they can support the development of concepts, provide different representations and support deeper understandings, and offer a multifaceted support to collect data and simulate experiences. Based on these assumptions, the aim of this chapter is to present, analyse and discuss tasks that promote interdisciplinary technological approaches from a mathematical point of view. In this chapter we assume interdisciplinarity as a complex construct, and in order to clarify its meaning we will discuss several types of conceptions, from multidisciplinary, to interdisciplinary, and to transdisciplinary. We will then address related concepts, such as modelling and STEM, highlighting similarities and differences between them, to reach an understanding of interdisciplinarity. In the process of the interdiciplinary approach, digital technologies arise as a central element. Based on a set of tasks on mathematics and on different sciences, we discuss what can change on an interdisciplinary approach to the teaching and learning of mathematical content and on the articulation between subjects.