Middle School Mathematics Teacher Preparation in a Chinese and an Australian University: Different Starting Mathematics Knowledge.

Stephen Norton, Qinqiong Zhang


There is increasing concern with respect to the quality of teacher education preparation processes in the West. This study used mixed methods to examine learning opportunities and knowledge of mathematics in a sample of 192 Australian trainee middle school teachers and 94 Chinese Bachelor of Science trainee teachers. It was found that the Chinese teacher preparation program ensured the that prospective teachers had mastery of basic facts and processes and extended opportunities to connect this mathematics knowledge to pedagogy. Many of the Australian trainee teachers had struggled with the same material and had limited opportunity to remediate this situation prior to commencing classroom engagement. The implications are discussed with regard to program structure and academic governance within the study institution and more broadly across the nation.


Initial teacher education;mathematics knowledg; middle school

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