NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ885905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0045-0685
Supporting "Out-of-Field" Teachers of Secondary Mathematics
Vale, Colleen
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v66 n1 p17-24 2010
Principals are very aware that there is a great deal of competition in attracting qualified teachers of mathematics to their school, since there are just not enough qualified mathematics teachers out there. Recent studies of the qualifications of teachers in Australian schools have confirmed that there is a crisis in the supply of qualified teachers of mathematics for secondary schooling. In addition, enrolments in each Australian state in an advanced mathematics subject in the final year of secondary school, the prerequisite subject for entry to tertiary mathematics, have shown a continuous decline since the turn of the century. To address these trends the Commonwealth Government has reduced tertiary fees for undergraduate mathematics and science students. However, this program will take at least four years to realise any significant increase in qualified mathematics teachers. Some education systems have put programs in place to increase the supply of teachers in fields of shortage and the Commonwealth Government has announced a program to attract highly qualified mathematics and science graduates into a school-based pre-service program. However, principals realise that they will need to continue to rely on "out-of-field" mathematics teachers in their schools since these initiatives will take some time to change the availability of qualified specialist teachers. In response to this situation the mathematics education and mathematics staff of Victoria University have designed and delivered two professional learning programs for "out-of-field" teachers. One was initiated by a secondary school in a regional city for "out-of-field" teachers in their cluster and focussed on preparing these teachers to teach senior secondary mathematics [Victorian Certificate of Education Mathematics Professional Learning Program (VCEM PLP)]; the second was developed in collaboration with the Western Metropolitan Region staff of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) for "out-of-field" teachers in four schools in the western region of Melbourne. In this article the first of these professional learning programs is described, together with the role of the schools and their mathematics staff, and the outcomes for teachers who participated in this program. To understand the purpose and goals of the program, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and mathematics knowledge for teaching (MKT) are defined, and reasons suggested as to why this knowledge is important for effective teaching of mathematics.
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia