University of Leicester
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Competency in mathematics teaching : subject content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and attitudes toward teaching mathematics

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:44 authored by Tak Wah Terry Wong
This study investigated pre-service primary mathematics teachers' teaching practice (TP) performance in the context of their subject content knowledge (SCK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and attitude towards mathematics teaching (AMT). The interrelationships among these variables are analyzed too. Attitudes toward mathematics teaching and previous SCK achievement were elicited using twenty Likert-item statements and their previous highest public mathematics examination results respectively whilst information on student teachers' PCK achievement and TP performance were obtained through direct teaching observation. The sample consisted of 104 student teachers drawn from two different training programmes, 2-Year Certificate of Education (CE) Course and 4-Year Bachelor of Education (BEd) Programme, at the first stage. Hence 52 student teachers were invited to participate in the second stage, TP supervision. Differences across programmes, year groups and gender were investigated. This study found that AMT has a positive effect on TP performance and it is also positively correlated with PCK achievement. However, it is surprising that subject content knowledge (SCK) has no statistically significant relationships with AMT, PCK achievement and TP performance. There were no substantial gender-related differences on AMT and SCK achievement however, female student teachers performed better than male student teachers on tasks requiring patience on preparation of lesson plans and teaching aids, explanations of mathematical concepts and making discussion with pupils. Besides, and surprisingly, CE student teachers had better PCK than BEd student teachers and CE student teachers also improved more than BEd student teachers in AMT by comparing their Pre- and Pro-TP AMT scores. These findings have important implications for the design of teacher training programmes and teaching effectiveness in mathematics. It is recommended that similar research be replicated for secondary student teachers, full time kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers and with questionnaires written in Chinese if necessary.


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University of Leicester

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  • Doctoral

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  • EdD



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