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Home arrow Mathematics arrow Mathematics Teacher Preparation in Central America and the Caribbean: The Cases of Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela

Final Considerations

In accordance with what has been argued by Guacaneme et al. (2013), the current structure of the Colombian education system, and, hence, school Mathematics preparation, has been the product of political, social and academic transformations. As a consequence, the role of the MEN has evolved from being a “regulator” of contents, to a generator of dispositions and orientations that support school autonomy with respect to curricular organization. In general, the education system has passed from the ideal of basic literacy to the ideal of preparing a citizen with capacities and competencies oriented to both knowing and doing. Coherent with that, more autonomy has been given to the institutions that prepare teachers so that they can provide actions that permit teachers to understand their roles as social and knowledge agents of the future generations. Nevertheless, more research is still necessary to provide evidence as to the ways that these institutions can come closer to reaching their goals.

As Agudelo-Valderrama (2006, 2008) suggests, there exists among Colombian Mathematics teachers, a certain resistance to develop practices in their classrooms that are articulated with the results of national and international research. She therefore suggests that Mathematics teacher preparation institutions should put into practice strategies that position change as an active factor. Thereby, teachers should question their conceptions of mathematical knowledge, their school practices, but above all, their roles as social agents in their communities.

According to what has been presented in this document, there seems to be a consensus among the majority of the institutions that prepare Mathematics teachers that it is through a strategy centered on preparation in/from research that future Mathematics teachers will be able to generate continuous knowledge on the realities in which they work. However, there is still not sufficient evidence about how this strategy has impacted school realities, the mathematical practices in classrooms. Particularly given that in school contexts there are usually insufficient conditions to do research, and that even those who do manage to do research do not receive adequate recognition within the current rewards structure. Faced with this reality, new questions emerge concerning the relationship between teaching and research, and the way to guide research by in-service and pre-service teachers.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that currently both the MEN and the Ministry of Communications have indicated a way to get technology to highlight competencies and ways that any teacher can integrate the technology. Thus it is hoped that integration of technology in the classroom will lead to innovation. However, these actions by the ministries apparently have been undertaken without knowledge of the research that has been done on the configuration of networks and innovations by various groups and institutions concerned with the teaching of Mathematics. A space must be opened to do interdisciplinary research on the integration of technology into the teaching and learning of Mathematics, and networking strategies must be strengthened.

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