Prospective lower-secondary and secondary teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and the college mathematics course topics they study
Broderick, Shawn Dee
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The need for high quality teachers of school mathematics has never been greater. A call for high quality mathematics teachers in the United States was made recently with the publication of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. Evidence from the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics showed the mediocre mathematical knowledge and mathematical pedagogical knowledge of prospective U.S. mathematics teachers. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, I explored the relationship between prospective U.S. lower-secondary and secondary mathematics teachers’ knowledge of mathematics and mathematics pedagogy and the program types they were in, courses they took, and topics they studied in courses in college mathematics, school mathematics, and mathematics pedagogy. The results showed that those enrolled in secondary preparation programs had more knowledge of mathematics and mathematics pedagogy than those enrolled in lower-secondary preparation programs. The results also showed that course topics in differential equations; school geometry; school functions, relations, and equations; mathematics instruction; and developing teaching plans for various domains of mathematics and mathematics pedagogy were related to significantly higher knowledge of mathematics and mathematics pedagogy. Recommendations for prospective teacher programs include (a) taking the above-mentioned courses relating to higher mathematical knowledge for teaching, (b) creating higher quality mathematics courses for lower-secondary prospective teachers focusing on special treatments of college mathematics courses designed for their mathematical dispositions and available time in their programs and (c) creating more focused programs that require a wider variety of courses aimed more at the mathematics that prospective teachers will use and less on unrelated abstract collegiate mathematics.
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