Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
It was unclear how the teacher education curriculum at a regional university in the south central region of the United States developed mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) in prospective elementary teachers. Understanding how MKT develops during teacher training is important because MKT has been linked to student achievement. The purpose of this sequential explanatory mixed methods study was to examine how prospective elementary teachers' MKT developed while enrolled in a math and science strategies course. Guided by Ball et al.'s MKT framework and Silverman and Thompson's development of this framework, this study investigated changes in prospective teachers' MKT levels and teacher candidates' perceptions of instructional tasks that assisted in the development of MKT during the course. During the quantitative phase, teacher candidates (N = 30) completed the Number Concepts and Operations assessment as a pre- and posttest. Paired t test results showed no significant changes in candidates' MKT levels. During the qualitative phase, volunteers were interviewed about their perceptions of how the course influenced their development of MKT. Thematic analyses revealed that teacher candidates recognized instruction that developed MKT, perceived the strategies course to have little to no influence on MKT, and felt unprepared to teach math. Findings were used to develop a revised curriculum plan for developing prospective teachers' MKT. The findings may lead to positive social change in the form of curriculum revisions aimed at developing teacher candidates' MKT to improve future instruction. The project may be shared with other colleges to improve curriculum with the goal of improving the quality of math instruction statewide.