Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics
Preparation of School Teachers:
The Journal


Volume 4: Curriculum

Bargagliotti, Anne E.; Jacobbe, Tim; Webb, Derek A Commentary on Elementary Teacher Preparation to Teach Statistics (March 2014)

Abstract. Since the prevalence of data and statistics in the media and workplace has greatly increased over the past few decades, the teaching of statistics in K-12 grades has also increased. This necessitates that teachers be ready to teach statistical concepts throughout the grade levels. The recently adopted Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) contain a large amount of statistics in the middle and high school grades and some at the elementary school level. This paper focuses on the preparation of elementary school teachers. The CCSSM and the Guidelines for assessment and instruction in statistics education (GAISE) report: A preK–12 curriculum framework are examined to illustrate the content covered in the elementary grades. Additionally, two examples of the type of content teachers are expected to know and teach are presented.

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Raychaudhuri, Debasree A Teacher Preparation Framework Built on Research Insight (April 2013)

Abstract. A typical pathway to become a credentialed mathematics teacher in a high school constitutes primarily of three parts; a bachelor’s degree, subject matter competency, and the requisite professional education - courses and directed teaching. These are often delivered in a disconnected fashion with little attention given to the context. As research in teachers’ knowledge indicates, placed in the context of high school, teachers often display surface knowledge and little confidence to present and defend mathematical concepts. The challenges posed by high-need schools only add to this problem leading to teacher attrition. In this article we propose and elaborate on a teacher preparation framework built on research in teaching and learning (The three Rs framework) that addresses some of these issues. In addition, we offer appropriate training modules along with their research underpinnings.

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Cox, Dana C.; Chesler, Josh; Beisiegel, Mary; Kenney, Rachael; Newton, Jill; Stone, Jamalee The Status of Capstone Courses for Pre-Service Secondary Mathematics Teachers (February 2013)

Abstract. Capstone courses have been recommended as a way for pre-service secondary mathematics teachers (PSMT) to connect the mathematics they learn in university to the mathematics they will teach in high schools. However, not much is known about the nature of these courses in the U.S. Through a survey of departments of mathematics and education, the study presented here explored whether such courses were offered to PSMT and, if offered, how the courses were designed. Respondents reported on alignment with CBMS guidelines, curriculum, and assessments among other course logistics. Implications include: few capstone courses align with national guidelines and vary greatly.

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Gresham, Gina A Study Exploring Exceptional Education Pre-service Teachers’ Mathematics Anxiety (December 2010)

Abstract. Fifty-two exceptional education pre-service teachers getting a K-6 endorsement were involved in this study that investigated the changes in levels of mathematics anxiety before and after a mathematics methods course for education majors. The changes were measured with respect to the use of manipulatives and other activities to make mathematics concepts more concrete and meaningful. Data were collected using quantitative and qualitative measures. Pre-service teachers completed a 98-item Likert-type survey. Informal discussions, informal interviews, and questionnaire-guided narrative interviews were conducted with pre-service teachers. Data revealed a statistically significant reduction in mathematics anxiety in pre-service teachers (p < .001). Results of the study have implications for teacher education programs concerning the measurement of mathematics anxiety levels among exceptional education pre-service teachers and the determination of specific contexts in which mathematics anxiety can be interpreted and reduced.

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McCormick, Kelly Experiencing the Power of Learning Mathematics through Writing (September 2010)

Abstract. As part of the Writing Across the Curriculum movement, teachers are asked to integrate writing into their teaching of mathematics; however, this can be a difficult task given that most elementary school teachers have had little experience using writing as a tool to learn and communicate their understanding of mathematics. To give students in my mathematics content courses the valuable experience of writing mathematical explanations, writing has become an integral part of my courses for preservice teachers. The paper that follows focuses on how I support strong written explanations in my mathematics content courses for elementary school teachers.

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Burns, Barbara A. Pre-Service Teachers’ Exposure to Using the History of Mathematics to Enhance Their Teaching of High School Mathematics (September 2010)

Abstract. The history of mathematics is an important component in the learning of mathematics. This study examines how pre-service teachers view the role of history of mathematics in the high school curriculum. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Results showed significant changes in beliefs about how the history of mathematics should be integrated as well as preparedness to incorporate the history of mathematics in teaching.

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Yow, Jan A Two Mathematics Teachers Talk about their Teacher Preparation Experiences: One an Undergraduate Degree and One a Masters Degree (June 2009)

Abstract. An exploratory research approach is used to characterize the experience of two second year high school mathematics teachers in their teacher preparation programs: one graduated from a four-year undergraduate program while the other graduated from a fifth-year masters program. The two main forms of data collection included interviews and document review. Findings showed that both teachers felt prepared for the mathematical demands of their jobs but ill prepared for what they termed “on-the-job knowledge.” Each teacher offered suggestions for improving their teacher education programs. Complete program curricula are included in the appendices.

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Chamberlin, Michelle T.; Powers, Robert A. Selecting From Three Curricula For A Preservice Elementary Teacher Geometry Course (May 2007)

Abstract. Faced with selecting a geometry curriculum for our preservice elementary teacher mathematics course, we used a mixed-methods study to investigate the effectiveness, with respect to student achievement and student perception, of three reform-oriented curricula. ANCOVA results indicate students using one of the curricula scored significantly higher than students using the other two. Qualitative results indicate students use and learn more from curricula with referencing material, explanations, examples, illustrations, practice opportunities, and exploratory activities. These results led to our curriculum selection and also suggest guidelines for textbook selection and provide a model of obtaining feedback from students on textbook use.

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Dogan-Dunlap, Hamide; Dunlap, Jeffrey; Izquierdo, Elena; Kosheleva, Olga Learn by Teaching: A Mediating Approach to Teaching and Learning Mathematics for Prospective Teachers (April 2007)

Abstract. A mediating approach is implemented into a section of Block I courses elementary pre-service teachers took in a cohort setting in Spring 2002. The paper discusses the components of the approach as well as the logistics of the initial implementation. Furthermore, the paper provides qualitative and quantitative analysis of a set of data gathered from a section of Spring 2002 Block I courses. The results indicate that a set of mediating activities similar to that of the ICFB approach may result in changes on prospective teachers’ attitudes toward and perceptions of mathematics as well as their performance in mathematical tasks.

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Strawhecker, Jane Preparing Elementary Teachers to Teach Mathematics: How Field Experiences Impact Pedagogical Content Knowledge (May 2005)

Abstract. Student achievement and attitudes toward mathematics are influenced by the teacher, emphasizing the importance of quality teacher preparation. This study explored different preparations and the impact on pre-service teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. The sample included 96 pre-service teachers enrolled in a math course at one Midwestern university. Results suggest that field experience combined with other aspects of mathematical teacher preparation impact pre-service teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge for mathematics.

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Furner, Joseph M.; Robison, Sally Using TIMSS to Improve the Undergraduate Preparation of Mathematics Teachers (November 2004)

Abstract. This paper looks at how the research from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) can help prepare undergraduate preservice mathematics teachers for success in teaching mathematics. The findings from TIMSS provide implications for better practices which can improve the preparation of future teachers to teach mathematics in a more effective and researched based-manner. The authors feel that if preservice teachers are better prepared for teaching mathematics and have a strong mathematical foundation along with knowledge of the TIMSS, their future students will be better prepared, in terms of their mathematics achievement and attitudes, to experience success in our technological and mathematical world. This paper provides ten recommendations for teacher educators based on TIMSS findings which outline specific suggestions and ramifications for preservice teachers to aid in being effective educators for future students in the USA.

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Mizell, Jill A. and Cates, Janie The Impact Of Additional Content Courses On Teacher Candidates’ Beliefs Regarding Mathematics Content And Pedagogy (May 2004)

Abstract. Alarming studies indicating a lack of mathematical knowledge among elementary educators has led to increases in the number of mathematics courses required in teacher preparation programs. This study examines the impact newly required mathematics courses had on teacher candidates’ beliefs regarding mathematics content and pedagogy in a large, southeastern teacher preparation program. A survey instrument was used to compare perceptions of teacher candidates required to take additional mathematics courses to those who were not. Differences in perceptions between groups were found. Factors possibly contributing to the findings of this study as well as suggestions for further research are discussed.

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Van Voorst, Conrad Capstone Mathematics Course for Teachers (March 2004)

Abstract. Three key features of a proposed capstone mathematics course for the preparation of teachers at the secondary level are: 1) teacher candidates examine concepts from the curriculum at a deeper level in the context of rich problems; 2) they investigate common themes in the math curriculum, such as shape and change, then collaborate on and present their research; and 3) they create portfolios of extensions and course reflections, products that require them to engage in higher-level, original thinking. Through this variety of assessments, the instructor is able to see future teachers of mathematics from multiple perspectives: their mathematical knowledge, their dispositions, and their beliefs about what mathematics is and how to effectively communicate the essential ideas. Participants’ reflections indicate that those aspects of the course that have the greatest value for improving teaching are collaboration, problem solving, conceptual learning, and opportunities for exploration.

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Last modified on: Wednesday, 19-Mar-2014 14:22:00 CDT