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Editorial of the Winter 2024 issue 50, Vol 15 No 6

Bronislaw Czarnocha, Issue 50 Editor, Vol 15(6) MTRJ

Picture of the EditorEditorial Reflection by Bronislaw Czarnocha, the Chief Editor of MTRJ

This is the 50th issue of Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal online what requires a certain amount of editorial reflection. There is a sense of accomplishment in the life history of the journal. First, it comes with the stability and continuity of our Editors’ Team which meets every Saturday for the Editors’ meeting discussing past reviews and distributing new authors. Everyone does it purely voluntarily! That’s amazing and my gratitude goes to every member of the team as well as to the team as a whole. My special gratitude goes to Dr. Malgorzata Marciniak, the managing editor who holds the whole journal together.

Second, the journal exists for 17 years and whereas we have started with the modest beginnings of a quarterly even sometimes publishing it only twice a year, at present we produce a bimonthly with the long list of accepted authors for the next 2 issues of the journal. Of course, we are indexed in Scopus, Eric, CNKi, Cabell Journalytics.

The journal became the bridge between authors from South Asia and Africa, and the authors from the North; from Indonesia, Malayasia, Turkey, Nepal, South and West Africa and authors from Europe and Americas. The 50th issue is an example of such a bridge. We have 5 new papers from Indonesia, 3 papers from East Europe, one from Nigeria and one from Turkey.

The Editors’ Team right now is also very international: the editors from Malaysia, Indonesia, from Germany, Spain, Poland, Italy, Peru, South Korea, and US of course, are on the board. The team of editors is slowly turning into the collaborative research community: we have done a small investigation collaboratively introducing and assessing an intervention in 7 countries around the world and will present the results in the summer at a major conference in Australia.

MTRJ is a teaching-research journal whose purpose is to create a bidirectional bridge between teaching and research (or research and teaching). Further in the future we envision an International Teaching-Research Conference online.

Editorial Proper

Note: The common aspect of the three presentations from Eastern Europe is their interest in the improvement of mathematics education for different types of workers entering the labor market.

One of the Ways to Organize Mathematical Training of Railway University Students in the Target Programs

Natalya A. Arkhipova, Natalya N. Evdokimova, Tatyana V. Rudina (Russia)

The paper of Arkhipova and colleagues from Russia describes the organization of learning in the state university of transport, and in particular the authors are interested to find out to what degree the introduction of new pedagogy of teaching mathematics will improve students’ professional learning. The new pedagogy involves organization of project-based learning through professionally oriented targeted projects. An example of such a complex project is included and from its description we see the depth of possible learning by students.

Math Anxiety, Skills, and Work-related Competencies: A Study on Czech University Students

Lenka Farkačová, Mária Králová , Eva Zelendová (Czech Republic)

Farkačová and colleagues from Czechia are interested in the impact of the awareness of mathematical skills upon professional success in the labor market. They emphasize the presence of math anxiety among many students. Through the survey and structured interviews, the authors want to assess the strength of the relationships between acquisition of mathematical competences needed for the success and the awareness of their importance, as well as with the manifestation of math anxiety. Their results confirm the existence of hypothesized relationships.

Professional Development Interventions for Mathematics Teachers: A Systematic Review

Branko Bognar, Ljerka Jukić Matić, Marija Sablić (Croatia)

The third paper from East Europe included in the issue is that of Branko Bodnar and colleagues from Croatia who are interested in the qualities for the most effective professional development for the teachers of mathematics. It’s the metanalysis of 12 chosen literature descriptions of PD’s for teachers. They conclude that to enhance mathematics learning outcomes for students, it appears that professional development interventions should provide on-site teacher support, mentoring, and feedback. Moreover, providing teachers with some form of teacher-focused resources and classroom learning materials would be of great assistance to those attempting to implement new instructional practices. They suggest the development of teaching-research school teacher teams as the way to assure a continuous professional development.

Note: The next five papers originated in Indonesia showing us the intensity of Indonesian contemporary concern with Mathematics Education.

Prediction Ability of College Students in Solving Graph Problems

Lathifaturrahmah Lathifaturahmah, Toto Nusantara, Subanji Subanji, Makbul Muksar (Indonesia)

Lathifathurama and co-authors are interested in the assessment of mathematics’ students ability to formulate well based predictions on the basis of graphs – a topic in demand in contemporary economy and politics. As the memory of Covid -19 are still very vivid with us, the presented work was based on the graph of monthly number of Covid cases in 2022. The authors use SOLO methodology in identifying levels of student responses. They discovered 4 different levels of predictions of increasing precision to predictions used by students: unistructural, multistructural, relational, and extended abstract levels. They conclude that the accuracy of students’ prediction is indicative of the capacity to apply the concept in practical situations.

A Case Study on Students’ Critical Thinking in Online Learning: Epistemological Obstacle in Proof, Generalization, Alternative Answer, and Problem Solving

Irena Puji Luritawaty, Tatang Herman, Sufyani Prabawanto3 (Indonesia)

Luritawati and colleagues, are also concerned with the effect of Covid – 19, which forced all learning to be done online. They discovered that online classes increase the difficulty of critical thinking development due to the difficulties in systematic online communication. They have characterized these difficulties as epistemological obstacles students encounter. The main encountered difficulties in usage of critical thinking were discovered while proving the relationship between two concepts, generalize relationships, seek alternative solutions, and solve problems. The authors suggest that to overcome these difficulties and to foster critical thinking skills in teaching online requires online learning to be well-prepared and structured, which can be initiated through good planning. To achieve this, lecturers can prepare comprehensive learning guidelines in e-modules or other materials that focus on understanding the relationship between concepts, the flexibility of concepts and procedures, and the habit of drawing in geometry learning.

Students’ Proactive Interference in Solving Proportion Problems:  How was the Met-before?

Pradina Parameswari, Purwanto, Sudirman, Susiswo (Indonesia)

Pradina Parameswari and colleagues are focusing their attention on the well-known problem of differentiating between direct and inverse proportions – a very important kill for both radiology technicians and nursing students. In solving the problem of inverse proportion, students often use the concept of direct proportion, and the authors trace this difficulty to the habitual interference of old knowledge when it’s applied to new situations. Authors characterize students on the basis of the analysis results as non-flexible and flexible types, each type displaying different relationships within their (mis) understanding of proportion.

Stages of Problem-Solving in Answering HOTS-Based Questions in Differential Calculus Courses

Eko Andy Purnomo, Y.L. Sukestiyarno, Iwan Junaedi, Arief Agoestanto (Indonesia)

Eko Purnomo and colleagues are also interested in the development of critical thinking from the point of view of problem solving in Differential Calculus. They follow the route of stage analysis suggested by Polya method. However, they find that the Polya stages must be augmented to allow for the detailed analysis of students’ work within the Higher Order Thinking Skills framework.

A Comparison of Angle Problems in Indonesian and Singaporean Elementary School Mathematics Textbooks

Yoppy Wahyu Purnomo, Antika Asri Julaikah, Galuh Candra Aprilia Hapsari,

Rina Cahyani Oktavia, Rizki Muhammad Ikhsan (Indonesia)

An interesting paper by Yoppy Purnomo and colleagues concerns differences in pedagogical approaches to the concept of an angle as seen by the comparison of Indonesian and Singapore textbooks. The research findings show that the two textbooks introduce the angle topics in different ways. In Indonesian mathematics textbooks, the angle topics are introduced at the end of the semester, while Singaporean textbooks introduce them in the middle of the semester. Indonesian textbooks have more types of task activities than Singaporean textbooks. However, the distribution of items for each dimension in Singapore book task activities is more proportional. Other important findings: in Indonesian mathematics textbooks are still dominated in the purely mathematical category, while Singaporean mathematics textbooks are more dominated in the visual category. In other words, Indonesian mathematics textbooks place emphasis on exercise more often, whereas Singaporean textbooks are more oriented towards conceptual knowledge.

Relative Effectiveness of Formative Assessment Techniques on Students’ Academic Achievement in Mathematics Classroom Teaching and Learning

Ejembi, Stephen Oche, Basil C.E. Oguguo, Cynthia O. Ezeanya, Kenneth E. Okpe, Vitalis C. Okwara, Isaac I. Adie, Bassey Bassey Ayek, Lovina Ijeoma Okpara & Blessing Ngozi Ojobo (Nigeria)

The paper of Oguguo and colleagues from Nigeria is interested in the impact of formative assessment on student retention of the information. The authors direct their attention towards two interesting assessment techniques: quite well-known think-pair-share technique and the muddiest point assessment techniques. The latter technique asks for students to jot down at the end of the class their most confusing point in learning. The results show that the second technique is more efficient in securing students’ retention than the first one.

The Effect of Computer Supported Collaborative Dynamic Learning Environment on High School Students’ Success in Mathematics Classroom

Türkan Berrin Kağızmanlı Köse, Enver Tatar (Turkey)

We complete the issue with an important investigation of Kağızmanlı and Tatar from Turkey concerning the computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL). The authors underscore the importance of leveraging the students’ agency and creativity during collaborative learning. The contribution presents the method describing the quantitative and qualitative approach to the topic of “Lines”. The authors find out that CSCL approach increases students’ retention rates of the subject.

The Problem Corner

Ivan Retamoso (USA)

We invite the readers to try the new problems prepared by Ivan Retamoso, our Problem Corner Editor. One can look also at the interesting solutions of the previous problems.

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