Professional training in mathematics education: a study of programmes, practices and prospects
Author(s)Biyela, Khetha Bonginkosi
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AbstractThe present study investigates the level of mathematics content knowledge acquired by pre-service teachers at the point of exit in their training programmes. The study was conducted on mathematics pre-service teachers. The purpose of study is to determine the level of mathematics attained by the pre-service. It is surmised the level of mathematics knowledge can influence learners’ performance in mathematics. The teachers’ lack of adequate mathematics content knowledge to teach mathematics proficiently is allegedly the source of poor attainments in mathematics education. On the basis of this perception, the extent to which pre-service teachers are ready to teach must be established. It was therefore compelling to conduct the present study to find answers to the following questions: What is the level of mathematics content knowledge the pre-service teachers possess at the point of exit of their training programmes?. How does the level of mathematics content knowledge possessed by pre-service teachers influence their teaching practices? This assertion forms the basis of the aims of study. To achieve the aims of the study, a standardised Mathematics Proficiency Test was administered to a sample of final year prospective teachers from two universities in South Africa. Practice teaching assessment and the comparison of high school and teachers education syllabi was also done to achieve the aims of the study. The results revealed that very few pre-service teachers command adequate knowledge of mathematics as they exit their training programmes. The pre-service teachers’ knowledge in three sections of mathematics namely, algebra, trigonometry and geometry is the same. The study also revealed that there is no relationship between the achievements in mathematics content and achievements in teaching practice. Furthermore the study revealed that the teacher training programmes cover most of the themes that are covered by high school syllabus. The discussion of findings coupled with their implications is highlighted. The avenues for future research are indicated.
Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Education in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2012.
University of Zululand