Schema Construction among Pre-service Teachers and the Use of IT in Mathematics Teaching: A Case Study

Mohan Chinnappan


Recent developments about cognitions underlying mathematical learning are
beginning to suggest that the activation and appropriate use of prior knowledge
by students is, to a large measure, controlled by the quality of organisation of that
knowledge. Thus, teaching needs to support the construction of well-connected
mathematical knowledge. An important assumption here is that teachers need to
construct a repertoire of subject-matter knowledge that is rich and well connected
before they can help their students build similar mathematical knowledge. Thus,
mathematics knowledge building is an important issue in teacher preparation
programs. This paper reports on a study about the knowledge state of a pre-service
teacher who planned to use computers in the teaching of linear functions. The
results of the study indicate the existence of gaps in the student teacher’s subjectmatter
knowledge. Significantly, there was also a lack of important connections
between his understanding of linear functions and the instructional use of a
computer software. Knowledge gaps and implications for classroom students’
acquisition of mathematical schemas and mathematics teacher education programs
are examined and discussed.


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