The Legacy of Schooling: Student Teachers' Initial Mathematical Feelings and Competence


  • Fred Biddulph


Government policies in New Zealand have lead to four-year primary teacher education degrees being reduced to three years. In the process, mathematics teacher education, at least at the University of Waikato, has been reduced accordingly. This has prompted 'a serious consideration of primary student teachers' initial feelings/attitudes about, and understanding of, mathematics. Data collected from 242 beginning student teachers about their feelings/attitudes, and from 166 regarding their understanding, are reported in this paper. The results show that a significant proportion of the students have deeply negative feelings and attitudes, and lack understanding of relatively simple mathematics. Suggestions for addressing the lack of understanding are sought.

Author Biography

Fred Biddulph