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ERIC Number: EJ1090486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1479-4802
Pre-Service Primary Mathematics Teachers' Opportunities to Learn about School Mathematics Topics
Al Zahrani, Yahya; Jones, Keith
Research in Mathematics Education, v15 n2 p191-192 2013
"Opportunity to learn" (OTL), a term first coined by Carroll (1963, 727) to capture the ''time allowed for learning'', is known to be a factor in successful learning during education programmes. In a major study of teacher preparation across 17 countries (the Teacher education and development study in mathematics, TEDS-M), Tatto et al. (2012, 175) applied the idea of OTL to ''what mathematics, mathematics pedagogy, general pedagogy, and related areas future teachers reported as having studied''. For school-level mathematics such as geometry and functions, relations, and equations, Tatto et al. found that OTL showed ''a high degree of variability across countries and program-groups'' (ibid, 181). Such research provides a backdrop to more in-depth studies of actual practice, because the data gathered in TEDS-M relied on pre-service teachers' self-reporting, and because more in-depth research might uncover some of the reasons for the variability in OTL. The data reported here comes from a wider study of primary mathematics teacher preparation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a country not included in TEDS-M. In particular, the authors report on the OTL that KSA pre-service primary mathematics teachers get of school-level mathematics during the mathematics pedagogy module (MPM) taken in semester 1 of their 4th (and final) year. Researchers were interested in determining the attention paid in the MPM to the two school mathematics topics of primary geometry and algebra (the latter being equivalent to the TEDS-M topic of ''functions, relations and equations''). As sites for data collection, two of the KSA university colleges (X and Y) were selected as a convenience sample. Both these university colleges teach the MPM module as 19 sessions, with eight of these sessions covering school-level mathematics and the other 11 addressing aspects of mathematics pedagogy such as lesson planning, teaching methods, and assessment techniques. Data were collected through observing the teaching of the MPM at each of the two university colleges. In particular, the school mathematics content covered during each session was noted on an observation sheet every two minutes during each 120 minute session. The data in the report show that the pre-service teachers received moderate opportunity to learn topics related to teaching primary school geometry, especially during the three sessions (out of eight) devoted to geometry. In contrast, they had little or no opportunity to learn topics related to teaching primary school algebra. Further research is needed on how to decide how much emphasis to give to the various school mathematics topics during teacher preparation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Saudi Arabia