Developing Professional Learning Communities for Pedagogical Innovations and its Implications on the Southeast Asia Regional Standards for Mathematics Teachers
ui hock cheah
SEAMEO Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics
One pedagogical innovation that highlights teacher empowerment is the design research approach to develop curricular materials for the mathematics classroom. More traditional design approaches are often top down where the teacher’s main role is that of an end user. On the contrary, in design research the teachers’ role begins right from the initial design stage. The teachers work together with other researchers in professional teams formulating, designing, testing and modifying the curricular material. One implication of design research is the expanding role of mathematics teachers in professional learning communities. Implications such as this have had an influence on the development of the Southeast Asia Regional Standards for Mathematics Teachers (SEARS-MT) which aims to provide regional benchmarks for the development of mathematics teachers. Four dimensions were identified in the SEARS-MT, three of which resonate with other standard documents found in America and Australia: 1) Professional knowledge, 2) Professional teaching and learning process, and 3) Personal and professional attributes. The fourth dimension which is unique to SEARS(MT) documents the qualities that are considered vital for mathematics teacher development in professional communities.