Learning to teach for mathematical proficiency: Behavioural changes for pre-service teachers on teaching placement
This study reports on an investigation of how field experiences in teaching prepares pre-service teachers (PSTs) to effectively deal with the challenges and complexities of teaching mathematics in Zimbabwean secondary schools. The study was premised on the view that improvement in learning secondary school mathematics in the classroom is related to practitioner development in teaching. However, despite overwhelming research on mathematics knowledge for teachers, the problem of mathematics failure in high schools has not been addressed. A mixed methods approach, based on the perspectives of PSTs on teaching practice (TP) was employed to depict how their practices impact on their knowledge development for teaching mathematics. The study, found that a proficient mathematics PST is considered one who embraces knowledge of mathematics content and the ability to teach it. Hence, the development of mathematics knowledge for PSTs requires them to be mentored and workshopped by mathematics subject specialists who are well positioned in terms of mathematics pedagogy and mathematics content knowledge.
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