Problem-Posing Skills for Mathematical Literacy: The Sample of Teachers and Pre-Service Teachers

Dicle University, Ziya Gokalp Faculty of Education, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, TURKEY.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2019.84.9


Purpose: The present study aims to examine the mathematics teachers’ and the pre-service teachers’ problem-posing skills for mathematical literacy (ML). 

Research Methods: This research was carried out using the case study model. The study group consisted of 13 pre-service mathematics teachers and five middle school mathematics teachers who took ML courses in undergraduate and graduate education. In this context, three free problem-posing activities were asked to pose problems for ML from the participants. The problems posed by the participants were examined through descriptive analysis. The theoretical basis in the PISA study was accepted as the framework in data analysis. 

Findings: Analyzes showed that the problems posed by the participants were mostly openended problems. According to the context of the posed problems, occupational and personal context problems were found to be dominant. The findings showed that the posed problems were more about change-relationships and space-shape concerning mathematical content. Regarding mathematical processes, the average score of employing skills was higher than formulating and interpreting skills scores. The findings suggest that the teachers are more successful than pre-service teachers in problem-posing activities for ML. 

Implications for Research and Practice: It was understood that there was a need for theoretical and practical courses that clarify the application of ML in different problem types. Challenges to pose unstructured problems for ML should be removed. The situations and content of mathematics used in ML problems should be made more effective and diversified.

Keywords: Mathematical literacy, pre-service teachers, problem-posing, teachers.