Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Paul Swan

Second Advisor

Mark Hackling

Abstract

There have been repeated calls for computational estimation to have a more prominent position in mathematics teaching and learning but there is still little evidence that quality time is being spent on this topic. Estimating numerical quantities is a useful skill for people to be able to use in their everyday lives in order to meet their personal needs. It is also accepted that number sense is an important component of mathematics learning (McIntosh, Reys, Reys, Bana, & Farrell, 1997; Paterson, 2004) and that computational estimation is an important part of number sense (Edwards, 1984; Markovits & Sowder, 1988; Schoen, 1994). This research hoped to contribute towards establishing computational estimation as a more accepted and worthwhile part of the mathematics curriculum. The study focused on a professional learning intervention, which used an action research approach, and was designed to develop teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge of computational estimation. The study utilised a multiple case study model set within a social constructivist and sociocultural paradigm to investigate the teachers’ involvement in this intervention. Case studies selected were completed focussing on three of the teachers and their classes.

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