PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF MATHEMATIC TEACHERS IN THE PROCESS OF

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					      Professional Development of Mathematic Teachers in the Process of
                            Informationalization
                                               Yangong Yin
                                     Suzhou Education Information Centre

Abstract:
In this information age, further training is needed to improve the professional quality of mathematics teachers in
order to meet the challenges of future instructions. In this paper, the author deals with the influence of information
technology on the professional development of teachers in China, and particularly on that of mathematics
teachers.

Keyword: information, teachers’ professional development, mathematics.

  Professional Preparations for Teachers in the Process of Informationalization
Three elements make a successful school: hardware, software and people. The term People refers to an adequate
number of professionally qualified teachers with specialized teaching skills. This is a priority in our educational
reform and research on teachers’ training. What kind of teacher is professionally qualified? It is commonly
accepted that the occupation of being a teacher requires specialized knowledge and skills as other jobs.

Along with the deepening of the curriculum reform, an increasing number of schools apply more information
technology in their teaching, attempting to improve the teaching results with the aid of digital resources and
devices. At present, the sufficient use of these resources and devices has become a trend. In these circumstances,
it’s a necessity to include something new in teachers’ professional training, that is, to develop their ability to make
full use of information technology in their teaching. It has been recognized that cyberspace serves as a common
platform for teachers, which helps to break down the spatial-temporal boundary.

In this new arena, however, teachers are confronted with a new problem: classes can not be arranged in the
traditional way any more because the computer knowledge of students instructed may not be less than that of
teachers instructing. Therefore, some experts conceive that in the tendency of informationalization, teachers must
be ready to make preparations just as follows:

Firstly, it’s very important to set an applicable standard for the evaluation of teachers’ proficiency in teaching
skills, such as a national standard for teachers’ education, to give references to schools, to design a teaching
strategy to integrate info technology and teaching as well as to make a blueprint of the application programs. The
integration of information technology with teaching consists of four aspects: the designing of a new class pattern
on Internet, the multimedia exhibitions of the results of students’ self-teaching, the remotely instruction by means
of computers (open search subjects via web) and on-line discussions.

Secondly, it is imperative to make special preparations for the integration of technology with teaching, which will
lead to the readiness in the field of education and other branches of knowledge. The preparations made in the field
of education include the application of technology to promote fair education, the development of ethical and
moral principles related to the application of information technology, the multi-evaluation of teaching results in
digital manners, the various ways to acquire knowledge, as well as the ways to systematically investigate the
disparities between different cultures and to organize students to corporate in their studies or to carry out research
on different subjects individually.

Thirdly, it is time for teachers to integrate info technology with their teaching. It covers the creation of a new class
atmosphere with information technology, the use of different teaching methods in varied class circumstances, as
well as the evaluation and management of the application of digital devices in classrooms.

The three aspects listed here, which form an integrated system, are interrelated in the whole process of teaching
and studying. With an adequate understanding of how significant it is for teachers to develop their proficiency in
using info technology, special attention should be paid to improving teachers’ proficiency of collecting, analyzing,
processing, and applying information in order to reconstruct the pattern of teachers’ professional development.

Professional Development for Mathematics Teachers in the Informationalization
Since mathematics is an essential and indispensable subject in primary and middle schools home and abroad, the
professional training of math teachers can never be neglected. Requirements set for a qualified math teacher vary
with decades. In this information age, it naturally contains the fundamental knowledge of info tech, for example,
computer know-how, the basic ideas of Windows, Word, Excel, multimedia software, and internet progressed
studying. As far as the characteristics of the mathematics course are concerned, special stress should be put on the
following items: functional graphic analyzing system, geometry picture system, symbol algebra system, data
processing system, electronic tables editing, programs editing, web pages making; it is also necessary for a math
teacher to be very skilful with such tools as scientific calculator, graphic calculator or pocket technology and some
kinds of software including sketch pad, Z+Z intelligent educating platform, APP(Handheld Application Software)
of TI. What is questioned is how these technologies can serve our math teaching? And what will they bring?

The first thing they will bring to us is animation. It helps to make the math teaching, such as that of Axis
Symmetrical, more vivid by means of rolling, flicking, or freezing pictures, changing saturation and sound effects.

The second is demonstration. Demonstrating, measuring and experimenting via multimedia in math teaching, such
as that of the truth the vertical line is shortest, can to some extent make the math knowledge clearer and more
vivid, thus reducing the difficulties to understand.

The third is separate exhibitions of related knowledge by means of video or audio technology. This will help in
the teaching of separating.

The fourth is exercises designing. Multimedia can design applicable exercises. Questions like selections, cloze,
and judgment are all suitable for query designs with computers.

The fifth is video broadcasting. For example, the history of mathematics may be taught by means of audio and
video. We can arrange the constituents of a lecture in a sequence, such as graphic drawing, self-valuing,
separately training, and mistakes correcting. And marked results will be achieved including the following four at
least: (1) It can help students have a better comprehension of math conceptions and help them move from a
perceptual stage of understanding to a rational one; (2) Multimedia offer interactive operations, which can arouse
students’ interests and cultivate their active attitudes to study; (3) Computers can give lifelike shapes and colors,
thereby making the abstract more concrete and the difficult easier; (4) Dialogues between human and machines,
instant feedback, audio and video combining and the like benefit individual teaching and corporation study.

     Professional Development Is a Requirement for Mathematics Teachers in
                            Curriculum Innovation
Mathematical Science Educational Commission of American Research Institute has designed an experimental
lesson to accommodate the demand of children called Mathematics Frames of Middle School In Year 2000. This
frame declares the reducing weight of written calculations, allows the using of calculators in kindergarten,
attaches less weight to symbol calculations in middle schools, and adds new elements to traditional materials for
mathematics teaching, which include data analysis and Dispersed Mathematics.

As far as a student is concerned, he must be able to do the following things: to be good at mental arithmetic and
estimations; to judge when accurate answers are needed and to use proper calculations in particular time; to use
calculators correctly and confidently; to estimate scales and decide when to use it properly to testify the results
from a calculator or mental arithmetic; to use e-tables, graphics, electronic cells and accounting technology to
organize, explain, and establish database; to gauge the value of provided data, accomplish math tasks with the aid
of computer software and visualize the answers to obscure questions; and to choose the effective agenda to solve
problems.
On the other hand, what a teacher concerned need to do first includes the transference from a primitive written
calculation to a computer calculation; besides, a teacher’s teaching methods should meet the need of future
courses. In addition, he or she is required to be good at using computer technology to develop the study abilities of
students, thus improving the qualities of math teaching. It has to be recognized that a computer is not just a
substitute of laborious meditation but a tool to help students to achieve better performances.

The newly authorized Standard Of Mathematics Courses stresses experimental mathematics, communicating
mathematics, and interactivities between students. In the air of info tech, what is an imperative task is the
transference from merely math learning to math activities. Supported by multimedia, we can shift our
mathematics courses to a math lab. The procedure covers analyzing facts--doing exercises--discovering
principles--giving suppositions--providing evidences and examining. This is a new teaching pattern conducted by
questions and arranged by computers in which students are regarded as a chief part. It illuminates the abstract
mathematical truths clearly and invokes innovations. In a mathematics lab, the mode has been changed from
listening to doing. Students can have some idea of the origin and development of mathematics as well as to find,
analyze and solve problems. The study is changed from simple feeling to understanding, from explaining to
expressing and from verbalizing to proving. All of these can happen instantaneously. The non-figurative turns
interpretable, and the vague becomes sensible.

Math becomes magnetic and inspiring, for mathematics experiments bridge the gap between teaching and
studying. The experiments generate more tasks for students to explore, analyze, and ponder. Sketchpad, which is
familiar with many of us, is a case in point. As it can reflect unchanged geometric relationships in unsettled
positions —the geometric conclusions (theorems), sketchpad can be a suitable research lab for students to bring
into full play their imaginations, intelligence and capability of comprehension, thus accomplishing better
performances. Evidently, taking the advantages of a computer, a math research lab can be set up, which not only
covers the necessity of students’ individual activities and group discussions, but also creates an environment full
of inspirations. Aided by information technology, experimenting, exploring and searching play a significant role
in study. A student can explore, find out and manipulate by himself. It demonstrates a theme that a student is
everything. Students, who will have a deeper comprehension of mathematics by listening, watching, and
especially operating, can undergo an emotional sensation with mathematics. Just as a psychologist said, he forgets
if he just listened, but remembers after he saw, and learns if he did. This is a distinguished aspect of the innovation
of math study. Only in this effective way can the initiative of students be given full scope to.

      Information Technology Is a New Challenge for Mathematics Teacher in
                                  Information Age
With the deeping application of information technology, students learn mathematics not merely in classrooms. A
distinguished concept declared in The State Mathematics Standard modified in year 2000 is information
technology will considerably influence the values, targets, contents and manners of study and teach. Modern
technology should be practiced sufficiently. It should be considered as a powerful tool for students to solve
problems free them from complicate and reduplicated calculations, and concern reality and involve more
mathematical activities.

Since the teaching of mathematics is interactive between teachers and students, information technology brings
about a new challenge for mathematical teachers. The roll of a teacher changed, from a knowledge deliver to a
teaching designer, from an individual who separated from other teachers to a member of teachers group, from a
repeatedly laborer to a creator. This trend is a requirement for teachers to keep up with times, to improve the
professional quality. It vital for us to breakthrough the ice that froze into old doctrines, to realize the challenge of
information technology. To build the new idea of students first, a teacher must learn the new curriculum reform
theory, improve the quality of teaching, possess valuable information and internet technology which can help him
judge and choose the information on internet. As a qualified teacher, he should know how to learn form the others
teachers’ successful plans and research independently, fulfill teaching preparation on net.
Supported by the information technology, mathematics teaching is transferring from simple math experiments to
math assumptions, and then to mathematical proving. Teachers today is confront with this urgent challenge.

It should be remembered that information technology challenge teachers, and teachers must meet this requirement,
if not ,he will be wash out by time.




References:
Mathematics Standard Research Group: The Ordinary High School Course Standard Explaining, Jiangsu
Educational Publish House, April,2004

Gao Minli, Modern Technology, A Bridge To The Future, The Central Broadcasting Television University Publish
House, January, 2000

Zhong Miquan, Teacher’ Professional, Conception And Project, Reference Of Education, The 4th Monthly Edition
Of Education Reference in 1999

Minghe Jiang, Primary And Middle School Teachers’ Information Training, www.elab.org.cn

Yangong Yin, Mathematics Experiments Based On Information Technology, Information Education,
February,2004

Yangong Yin, The Technology Trend Of Mathematics Education In The Course Of Curriculum Reform, Middle
School Mathematics Monthly, Novermber,2003