Primary Mathematics Teacher Education Encountering Difficult Terrain: A Personal Perspective

  • Stephen Norton Griffith University


This paper is a case study in preparing prospective primary teachers to teach mathematics at one Australian university. The paper describes the content knowledge of prospective teachers, pre and post a final mathematics curriculum subject. The teaching approach which attempts to account for both content and pedagogical content knowledge is described. The constraints with respect to time and delivery mode are documented as well as the strategies used to maximise learning opportunities. The findings suggest that current mechanisms of student entry enable students with low levels of personal mathematics to enter and indeed pass teacher education courses. The data suggest there is merit in considering specialist or part-specialist primary teachers of mathematics or in extending teacher preparation time in pre-service teaching programs and refocusing their intent to better account for prospective teachers’ knowledge of mathematics which is widely considered essential for effective teaching of the discipline.