Tools, artefacts, resources and pedagogy - stories of international statistics educators

Sue Gordon, Peter Petocz, Anna Reid

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    Our recent research investigated the experiences of educators teaching statistics as service courses at universities. We conducted interviews by email with participants from many countries and whose teaching reflects diverse settings, student groups and disciplines-a microcosm of higher education today. We now focus on the tools, artefacts and resources respondents identified as critical to developing their teaching. These include computer and internet technology; data sets, texts and research and human resources, such as master teachers or teaching pools. Teacher development can be characterised as "the enhancement of the knowledge and capabilities to function as a teacher" (Gordon & Fittler, 2004) and is bound up with student learning. Hence tools and artefacts harnessed by educators to develop their teaching are resources for enhancing student learning. Our approach draws on activity theory, based on the work of Vygotsky, Leont'ev and colleagues, and emphasising mastering tools in collective and individual development. Vygotsky extended the idea of physical tools as mediators of change to psychological tools or mental tools. Case studies from our investigation are used to explore how the educators constitute their teaching identities in relation to cultural tools.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages14
    JournalAustralian Association for Research in Education : conference papers, abstracts and symposia
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventAnnual Conference of the AARE - Adelaide
    Duration: 27 Nov 200630 Nov 2006


    • sociocultural and activity theory


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