Why are mathematics teachers “not sure”?


  • Janne Fauskanger University of Stavanger
  • Reidar Mosvold University of Stavanger


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


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.

Author Biographies

Janne Fauskanger, University of Stavanger

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department of Education and Sports Science


Reidar Mosvold, University of Stavanger


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