Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teaching Elementary Mathematics
This course is aimed towards preparing students to broaden their understanding of elementary grade curriculum and content of mathematics and engage with aspects of teaching and learning this content.
Mathematics is considered to be an abstract subject with its particular ways of knowledge construction, definitive procedures, rules and symbols. Making sense of them and relations between them are often found to be hard for both students and teachers through the school grades, resulting in very mechanical teaching and learning of mathematics. The problem is more severe as the students move up the ladder of schooling. Any effort to change the situation on a large scale would therefore require more support for teachers to modify and adapt their teaching-learning practices. The four courses in Mathematics are an attempt to help students to learn different facets of mathematics, as are required for teaching and supporting teaching-learning processes. The four courses deal with the nature and content of mathematics, broad discussions on curriculum and pedagogy of mathematics, PCK relevant for elementary grade mathematics and material development in mathematics.
The programme has an explicit objective of developing sensitive and reflective practitioners who have sufficient understanding of the educational landscape of the country and the challenges in teaching and learning, and who can contribute to the designing and implementation of interventions at the ground level. It also envisions developing adequate knowledge in particular school-subject areas and building capacities and appropriate dispositions for working in that area. This course is aimed towards meeting these objectives and preparing students to broaden their understanding of elementary grade curriculum and content of mathematics and engage with aspects of teaching and learning this content.
The course builds on the earlier two courses on Knowledge in Mathematics and Curriculum
and Pedagogy of Mathematics. These provide the rationale and perspectives for developing a different kind of knowledge, namely pedagogical content knowledge, required for supporting the task of elementary grade mathematics teaching and learning. The course would attempt to unpack the knowledge embodied by the curriculum and textbooks of elementary grades by detailing out (i) the key ideas (concepts, procedures and interlinkages) that need to be taught and learnt, (ii) understanding elementary grade student’s reasoning, (iii) representations (concrete and mental models) and tasks which facilitate thinking and reasoning, and (iv) assessment ideas. The course will explore the main content areas of elementary mathematics, which are whole numbers, integers, fractions and rational numbers, algebra, measurement and geometry.