Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Issue Volume 11, Number 1 / February, 2008 Pages 61-81
The Vietnamese curriculum reform which trends toward a student-centered approach requires Vietnamese teacher educators to prepare student teachers for teaching using this approach. In this article, we present a case study of three Vietnamese student teachers working in groups in a methods course to explore Freudenthal’s theory of realistic mathematics education (RME).
The course emphasized students’ knowledge construction in meaningful contexts. Transcripts of class discussions and group discussions, interviews, student teachers’ lesson plans, and journal writings were the main data sources that were used to investigate the development of student teachers’ views on mathematics and mathematics education during the course. The deliberation about teaching strategies of three subjects working in a group to design lesson plans were also analyzed.
The findings showed that the three student teachers explored new meanings of mathematics teaching that caused them to shift from their traditional point of view to a student-centered one. The student teachers were able to adapt the texts of their lessons to suit the student-centered approach. It is noted that among three subjects, there were two student teachers who questioned the realization possibilities of the student-centered approach in the Vietnamese educational context where the social and political conditions are not favorable for teaching with this approach.