School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

Preservice teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching: Focus on lesson planning and reflection

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Mathematics teacher educators have suggested preservice mathematics teachers' (PMTs') practices provide evidence of their mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT). PMTs engage in approximations of practice to rehearse teaching. To explore connections between MKT and PMTs’ practices, we operationalized six MKT subdomains in terms of approximations of practice. We used that operationalization to investigate, which subdomains were evidenced in PMTs’ lesson plans and their lesson plan reflections. Eleven secondary PMTs participated in our study. Using a qualitative content analysis method, we found Knowledge of Content and Teaching most evidenced, suggesting that the PMTs demonstrated MKT when they described mathematical tasks and associated instructional activities. Also, the PMTs demonstrated Knowledge of Content and Students when they described how their students would engage with proposed mathematical tasks. However, the PMTs struggled to plan for activities by building on students’ potential mathematical thinking and reasoning. Only limited instances of Horizon Content Knowledge suggest that the PMTs had limited opportunities to demonstrate how their advanced mathematical knowledge connected with their mathematics teaching in the approximations of practice provided. We propose alternative forms of approximations of practice to optimize PMTs’ opportunities to demonstrate and develop MKT.


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School Science and Mathematics