Why are mathematics teachers “not sure”?

Janne Fauskanger, Reidar Mosvold


Researchers have widely adopted the mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) measures. This paper aims at investigating why teachers select “I’m not sure” as a suggested solution in MKT items. In this study, in-service teachers responded to multiple-choice MKT items, they submitted written responses to open-ended questions, and they discussed these items in group discussions. We analyse the different kinds of responses from three teachers in depth. A framework of cognitive types of teacher knowledge—distinguishing between Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 knowledge—was applied in the analysis. One teacher selected “I’m not sure” due to insufficient MKT, whereas the other two teachers appeared to have Type 1 and Type 2 knowledge. These findings provide existence proof that the knowledge teachers utilize in responses to open-ended questions and group discussions does not necessarily mirror the knowledge used when selecting a particular multiple-choice response.


. teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching . measurement . multiple-choice items

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