• Gender bias in the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study 2003 (TIMMS) for Canadian students /

      Faber, Renata.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2008-06-01)
      This study is a secondary data analysis of the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study 2003 (TIMSS) to determine if there is a gender bias, unbalanced number of items suited to the cognitive skill of one gender, and to compare performance by location. Results of the Grade 8, math portion of the test were examined. Items were coded as verbal, spatial, verbal /spatial or neither and as conventional or unconventional. A Kruskal- Wallis was completed for each category, comparing performance of students from Ontario, Quebec, and Singapore. A Factor Analysis was completed to determine if there were item categories with similar characteristics. Gender differences favouring males were found in the verbal conventional category for Canadian students and in the spatial conventional category for students in Quebec. The greatest differences were by location, as students in Singapore outperformed students from Canada in all areas except for the spatial unconventional category. Finally, whether an item is conventional or unconventional is more important than whether the item is verbal or spatial. Results show the importance of fair assessment for the genders in both the classroom and on standardized tests.
    • Teachers' professional learning within communities of mathematics-for-teaching practice

      Fleming, Glynnis; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2012-03-29)
      Ontario bansho is an emergent mathematics instructional strategy used by teachers working within communities of practice that has been deemed to have a transformational effect on teachers' professional learning of mathematics. This study sought to answer the following question: How does teachers' implementation of Ontario bansho within their communities of practice inform their professional learning process concerning mathematics-for-teaching? Two other key questions also guided the study: What processes support teachers' professional learning of content-for-teaching? What conditions support teachers' professional learning of content-for-teaching? The study followed an interpretive phenomenological approach to collect data using a purposive sampling of teachers as participants. The researcher conducted interviews and followed an interpretive approach to data analysis to investigate how teachers construct meaning and create interpretations through their social interactions. The study developed a model of professional learning made up of 3 processes, informing with resources, engaging with students, and visualizing and schematizing in which the participants engaged and 2 conditions, ownership and community that supported the 3 processes. The 3 processes occur in ways that are complex, recursive, nonpredictable, and contextual. This model provides a framework for facilitators and leaders to plan for effective, content-relevant professional learning by placing teachers, students, and their learning at the heart of professional learning.