Prior Study of Mathematics as a Predictor of Pre-service Teachers’ Success on Tests of Mathematics and Pedagogical Content Knowledge


  • Stephen Norton


There remains a lack of empirical evidence about the relationship between the level of mathematics studied at high school and within tertiary degrees and primary school pre-service teachers’ success in curriculum subjects. Further, there is little evidence to inform the structure and delivery of mathematics teacher preparation. In this study, the content and pedagogical knowledge of pre-service primary teachers were examined, as was their view of the effectiveness of a unit of study based on mathematics content and pedagogy. The cohort comprised 122 graduate diploma primary teacher preparation students; the unit’s assessment required them to know the mathematics they were expected to teach as well as describe how to teach it. It was found that the level of high school mathematics undertaken was highly correlated with success in the teacher education unit designed to prepare prospective teachers to teach primary (elementary) mathematics. The findings have implications for enrolment in pre-service primary teacher preparation courses as well as for the structure of mathematics curriculum units.

Author Biography

Stephen Norton