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Topic: Who teaches maths content courses for prospect el tchrs in the U.S.?
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,527
Registered: 12/3/04
Who teaches maths content courses for prospect el tchrs in the U.S.?
Posted: Feb 25, 2014 1:13 PM
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From The Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 2012, 15:347-358.
DOI . Published online: 7 June 2012 c. Springer Science+Business
Media B.V. 2012 10.1007/s10857-012-9215-2 . Our thanks to Greg
Gierhart for bringing these pieces to our attention.
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Who teaches mathematics content courses for prospective elementary
teachers in the United States?

Results of a national survey

By Joanna O. Masingila, Dana E. Olanoff and Dennis K. Kwaka

Abstract This article reports on a national survey of higher
education institutions in the United States to answer the question,
''Who teaches mathematics content courses for prospective elementary
teachers, and what are these instructors' academic and teaching
backgrounds?'' We surveyed 1,926 institutions, and a faculty member
from each of 825 institutions (42.8 %) participated in the survey.
The survey results demonstrate that the majority of institutions are
not meeting the recommendations of the Conference Board of the
Mathematical Sciences (The mathematical education of teachers.
American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 2001), the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (Professional standards for
teaching mathematics. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,
Reston, VA, 2005), and the National Council on Teacher Quality
(Greenberg and Walsh 2008) for prospective elementary teachers to
take at least nine credits of mathematics content designed
specifically for them. Additionally, most instructors for these
courses do not have elementary teaching experience and have likely
not had opportunities to think deeply about the important ideas in
elementary mathematics, and most institutions do not provide training
and/or support for these instructors.

............................

Conclusions

Our survey results point out that most institutions are not meeting
the recommendation of requiring prospective elementary teachers to
complete nine credits hours of mathematics content courses designed
specifically to support them in thinking carefully about elementary
mathematical ideas. Additionally, most instructors for these courses
do not have elementary teaching experience and likely have not had
opportunities to think deeply about the important ideas in elementary
mathematics, and most institutions do not provide training and/or
support for these instructors. If nothing changes with the
preparation and professional development of these instructors, the
cycle of unprepared prospective teachers whose college experience has
little effect on their mathematical understanding (Conference Board
of the Mathematical Sciences 2001) will continue.

In order to change this situation, we first suggest that all
institutions preparing elementary teachers offer and require at least
nine credits of mathematics content courses designed for this
population, and prepare and support the instructors who teach these
courses. We also suggest that there be collaboration among
instructors. Institutions with multiple instructors can form
communities of practice at their sites. Instructors who are alone in
teaching these courses at their institutions can seek out instructors
at other institutions for support. Professional organizations, such
as the AMTE, offer resources through membership, conference sessions,
and pre-conference workshops. Social media, such as Facebook, can
also provide support through opportunities to discuss teaching,
curriculum, assessment, and planning ideas with others. Finally, our
survey results, combined with other research on prospective
elementary teachers' achievement, may help the mathematics education
community develop standards for the teacher educators who teach
mathematics content courses for this population.

Acknowledgments The authors thank Amy L. Cunningham and Anuj M.
Kachapati for their assistance in data collection and data analysis,
respectively.

See whole article in the attachment.

*******************************************
--
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244
E-mail: jbecker@siu.edu



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