Mathematics Connection

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Pre-service teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching basic school mathematics

J Nsiah-Asante


This study measured pre-service teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) basic school mathematics. MKT multiple-choice test was administered to 100 pre-service teachers from two colleges of education (located at Mampong in the Ashanti Region of Ghana) to assess their mathematical knowledge for teaching basic school mathematics in
three content domains – fractions, number operations and number patterns. The results of the test revealed that the general performance of the pre-service teachers on the MKT test was low (x= 45.5%, SD=9.6). Their performance in number patterns and rules (x= 50.2%,
SD=28.6) was better than that of fractions (x= 44.0%, SD= 20.9) and number operations (x= 40.4%, SD=17.7), which constitute nearly half of basic school mathematics content. The variations however show that there are many more pre-service teachers who have difficulty in teaching topics in the content domain tested. It was observed that the poor performance
was due to the inadequate opportunities pre-service teachers have to practise what they learn in their pedagogy courses in college. It is recommended that the mathematics pedagogy courses should be made more practical, that is, pre-service teachers should be given ample
opportunity in college to practice what they are going to teach in basic schools.

AJOL African Journals Online