ERIC Number: ED370932
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Divisibility and Multiplicative Structure of Natural Numbers: Preservice Teachers' Understanding.
Zazkis, Rina; Campbell, Stephen
This study contributes to a growing body of research on the development of elementary teacher's content knowledge of mathematics. Individual clinical interviews were conducted with preservice elementary teachers (N=21) enrolled in a professional development course called "Foundations of Mathematics for Teachers." An instrument that allowed for the flexibility to probe and clarify participant understandings of elementary number theoretical concepts was employed. Questions were designed to clarify participants' understandings of procedures and concepts relating to divisibility and to investigate their abilities to make connections and inferences from them. A constructivist-oriented phenomenological analysis of reflective abstraction was adapted as a framework for interpreting data acquired in the interviews. Data analysis supports the general claim that teacher's content knowledge is "weak" and teacher's conceptual understanding is "insufficient" at times to teach arithmetic even in the elementary grades. Results provide a preliminary basis of a descriptive theory for the development of mental constructions involving elementary numbers concepts, their properties and relationships. An illustration of the model used to guide analysis and excerpts from the interviews are included. (Contains 16 references.) (LL)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Arithmetic, Concept Formation, Constructivism (Learning), Elementary Education, Elementary School Mathematics, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Interviews, Knowledge Level, Mathematics Education, Methods Courses, Number Concepts, Numeracy, Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, Teacher Competencies
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby (British Columbia). Faculty of Education.
Identifiers: British Columbia
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).