TY - JOUR

T1 - The ‘Mathematics Problem’ and preservice post primary mathematics teachers–analysing 17 years of diagnostic test data

AU - Fitzmaurice, Olivia

AU - Walsh, Richard

AU - Burke, Kevin

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

PY - 2021

Y1 - 2021

N2 - In the mathematics education literature, subject matter knowledge is well recognized as the cornerstone of a mathematics teacher’s knowledge base. Though the ‘Mathematics Problem’, the declining standards of students’ mathematical abilities upon entering tertiary education, is well documented in many countries, its effect on preservice mathematics teachers has not yet been analyzed to date. Therefore, we analyze 17 years of data (1997–2013) from a mathematics diagnostic test taken by preservice post primary mathematics teachers (n = 365) during their first mathematics class in a teacher training institution. Our analysis shows that the mathematical knowledge of preservice teachers has declined in all of the assessed core areas of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and calculus, with the more recent years of 2007–2013 showing more rapid decline than the years before. In fact, the average-performing preservice teacher in 1997 achieved a higher score than almost all preservice teachers in more recent years.

AB - In the mathematics education literature, subject matter knowledge is well recognized as the cornerstone of a mathematics teacher’s knowledge base. Though the ‘Mathematics Problem’, the declining standards of students’ mathematical abilities upon entering tertiary education, is well documented in many countries, its effect on preservice mathematics teachers has not yet been analyzed to date. Therefore, we analyze 17 years of data (1997–2013) from a mathematics diagnostic test taken by preservice post primary mathematics teachers (n = 365) during their first mathematics class in a teacher training institution. Our analysis shows that the mathematical knowledge of preservice teachers has declined in all of the assessed core areas of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and calculus, with the more recent years of 2007–2013 showing more rapid decline than the years before. In fact, the average-performing preservice teacher in 1997 achieved a higher score than almost all preservice teachers in more recent years.

KW - diagnostic testing

KW - mathematics problem

KW - Preservice mathematics teachers

KW - teacher knowledge

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85075031291&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/0020739X.2019.1682700

DO - 10.1080/0020739X.2019.1682700

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85075031291

SN - 0020-739X

VL - 52

SP - 259

EP - 281

JO - International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology

JF - International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology

IS - 2

ER -