International comparisons of Foundation Phase number domain mathematics knowledge and practice standards
Poor mathematics performance in schools is both a national and an international concern. Teachers ought to be equipped with relevant subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge as one way to address this problem. However, no mathematics knowledge and practice standards have as yet been defined for the preparation of Foundation Phase student teachers in South Africa. To make recommendations for the drafting of such standards for final year Foundation Phase teachers, we compared different policy documents. We performed a document analysis on policy documents from South Africa, The Netherlands, Australia and North Carolina (United States of America), all of which addressed the number domain in mathematics. Our findings indicate that knowledge standards ought to include subject matter knowledge, while practice standards require pedagogical content knowledge, noting that neither of these are fulfilled in the education system in South Africa at present.
Key words: foundation phase; knowledge and practice standards; mathematical knowledge; number domain; pedagogical content knowledge; policy documents; subject matter knowledge