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Student teachers’ common content knowledge for solving routine fraction tasks
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Learning and Technology, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0429-243X
2022 (English)In: LUMAT: International Journal on Math, Science and Technology Education, E-ISSN 2323-7112, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 256-280Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on the knowledge base that Swedish elementary student teachers demonstrate in their solutions for six routine fraction tasks. The paper investigates the student teachers’ common content knowledge of fractions and discusses the implications of the findings. Fraction knowledge that student teachers bring to teacher education has been rarely investigated in the Swedish context. Thus, this study broadens the international view in the field and gives an opportunity to see some worldwide similarities as well as national challenges in student teachers’ fraction knowledge. The findings in this study reveal uncertainty and wide differences between the student teachers when solving fraction tasks that they were already familiar with; two of the 59 participants solved correctly all tasks, whereas some of them gave only one or not any correct answer. Moreover, the data indicate general limitations in the participants’ basic knowledge in mathematics. For example, many of them make errors in using mathematical symbol writing and different representation forms, and they do not recognize unreasonable answers and incorrect statements. Some participants also seemed to guess at an algorithm to use when they did not remember or understand the correct solution method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Helsinki, 2022. Vol. 10, no 2, p. 256-280
Keywords [en]
common content knowledge, elementary school, fractions, student teacher, teacher education
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Mathematics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-92163DOI: 10.31129/lumat.10.2.1656Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85135486064OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-92163DiVA, id: diva2:1683127
Note

Validerad;2022;Nivå 1;2022-07-14 (sofila)

Available from: 2022-07-14 Created: 2022-07-14 Last updated: 2024-04-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Characterizing Prospective Elementary Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching Fractions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Characterizing Prospective Elementary Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching Fractions
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although research has delved into the challenges faced by mathematics teachers and students across various educational levels when working with fractions, these challenges persist. Fractions are an important but difficult content area in elementary school mathematics, and many future elementary teachers enter teacher education with limited knowledge of fractions. This lack of prior knowledge, combined with diverse experiences and attitudes toward the teaching and learning of mathematics, presents a challenge for teacher education programs aiming at enhancing prospective teachers’ knowledge to enable them to teach fractions effectively. Teacher education is a crucial time to attain a comprehensive pedagogical knowledge of mathematics, and this thesis characterizes prospective elementary teachers’ (n = 61) knowledge for teaching fractions as an outcome of Swedish teacher education. Through four empirical studies, the thesis also addresses the concept of mathematical identity and investigates the topic in light of the Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching framework.

The findings highlight substantial differences between the participants in the subject matter and pedagogical content knowledge domain of fractions, revealing difficulties in both their procedural and conceptual knowledge. Challenges also arise in analyzing different fraction solutions and combining knowledge of fraction content with knowledge about elementary students, teaching, and the national curriculum document. This difficulty can be a hindrance for the quality teaching of fractions. Moreover, incoherent fraction knowledge occurs across the different knowledge categories included in the Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching framework. The findings also reveal uncertainty in relation to work with fractions and prospective teachers’ mathematical identities. A new framework for the analysis of different aspects of fractions is also presented in the thesis, and the findings are discussed considering the context of Swedish teacher education and the Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching framework. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2024
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
elementary teacher education, fractions, mathematical identity, mathematical knowledge for teaching, prospective elementary teacher
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Mathematics and Science Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-105152 (URN)978-91-8048-544-9 (ISBN)978-91-8048-545-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-06-20, A109, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-19 Created: 2024-04-19 Last updated: 2024-05-30Bibliographically approved

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Tossavainen, Anne

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