Sensitivity to complexity - an important prerequisite of problem solving mathematics teaching

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Teaching is deciding and acting in a complex system. If a teacher attempts to fulfil demands to teach mathematics with a stronger problem solving orientation, it becomes even more complex. This complexity must not be reduced arbitrarily. Instead, a sufficient degree of sensitivity is necessary to competently and flexibly deal with emerging demands on the teacher. In this article I provide an introduction to the concept of sensitivity to complexity of mathematics teaching and report on specific realistic and interactive diagnostic instruments. A particular focus is placed on a diagnostic interview about decision-making situations which could occur in a mathematics lesson. A first pilot study with student teachers from different German universities - briefly outlined in the last part of this article - suggests its suitability for gaining important indications of the agent's degree of sensitivity to complexity of problem solving mathematics teaching.

Original languageEnglish
JournalZentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)436-444
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 11.2006