A Specialist Professional Learning Community for Primary Teacher Education Students focussed on Mathematical Problem Solving


  • Michael Cavanagh Macquarie University
  • Heather McMaster


problem solving, teacher education, primary mathematics, professional experience


In this paper, we report on a group of four primary teacher education students who had achieved very good results in secondary school mathematics and a merit grade in an introductory numeracy unit which they had completed as part of their teacher education studies. The participants attended a local primary school each fortnight over a school term to observe and co-teach mathematical problem-solving lessons in a composite Year 5/6 class. We canvass some different models of professional experience for high-achieving primary teacher education students and consider the role of reflective practice in learning to teach. We also discuss key features of pedagogical content knowledge associated with teaching problem-solving lessons in mathematics and how teacher education programs might best support teacher education students in developing these skills as primary teachers with a specialisation in mathematics.

Author Biography

Michael Cavanagh, Macquarie University

Michael Cavanagh is a senior lecturer in the School of Education at Macquarie University


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