Data Praxis: Teacher educators using data to inform and enhance pre-service teacher mathematics.


  • Peter Sellings Federation University Australia
  • Robyn Brandenburg Federation University of Australia


pre-service teachers, mathematics education, data praxis, teacher educators


This paper explores how data can shape and enhance mathematics learning and teaching in an initial teacher education Learning and Teaching Mathematics Course for First Bachelor of Education Students in a Regional University. The implementation of a ‘data praxis’ approach to research, required the development of a custom-designed suite of data gathering tools and approaches to inform our mathematics teaching and enhance pre-service teacher mathematical learning, underpinned the conduct of the study.  Praxis required the teacher educators to constantly and systematically interact with the data sets and refine the pedagogical approaches to mathematics teaching and learning. The results of this research highlight the gains that students made and the challenges for teacher educators who choose a data based approach.

Author Biography

Peter Sellings, Federation University Australia

Lecturer in Education


Bambrick-Santoyo, P. (2007). Data in the driver’s seat. Educational Leadership, 65(4), 43-46.

Beswick, K. (2006). Changes in pre-service teachers' attitudes and beliefs: The net impact of two mathematics education units and intervening experiences. School Science & Mathematics, 106(1), 36-47. Available:

Brandenburg, R. (2008). Powerful pedagogy: Self study to a teacher educator’s practice. Springer.

Cohen, J. (1992). A prime power. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155-159.

Cooke, A., & Hurst, C. (2012). Mathematics competency and situational mathematics anxiety: What are the links and how do these links affect teacher education programs? Paper presented at Joint AARE and APERA international conference, Sydney. Retrieved April 2017 from

Craven, G., Beswick, K., Fleming, J., Fletcher, T., Green, M., Jensen, B., Leinonen, E., & Rickards, F. (2014). Action now: Classroom ready teachers. Retrieved March 2015 from

Darling-Hammond, L. (2013). Building a profession of teaching. In M. Flores, A. Carvahlo, F. Ferreira and M. Vilaca (Eds.), Back to the future: Legacies, continuities and changes in educational policy practice and research, (pp. 3-28). Rotterdam, Sense publications

Depaepe, F., Verschaffel, L., & Kelchtermans, G. (2013). Pedagogical content knowledge: A systematic review of the way in which the concept has pervaded mathematics education research. Teaching and Teacher Education, 34, 12-25. Available:

Gautreau, C., Kirtman, L., & Guillaume, A. (2011). Promoting mathematical competence & confidence in Latina preservice teachers – Examining home and school experiences. Multicultural education, 18(2), 44-49. Available:

Gough, J. (2008). Fixing misconceptions: Length area and volume. Australian Mathematics Teacher, 64(2), 34-35. Available:

Henderson, S. (2012). Student primary teachers improving their mathematics subject knowledge: cognition and affect intertwined. Journal of Education for Teaching, 38(4), 375-387. Available:

Henderson, S., & Rodrigues, S. (2008). Scottish student primary teachers’ levels of mathematics competence and confidence for teaching mathematics: some implications of national qualifications and initial teacher education. Journal of Education for Teaching, 34(2), 93-107, DOI: 10.1080/02607470801979533

Hine, G. (2015). Strengthening pre-service teachers’ mathematical content knowledge. Journal of University teaching and learning practice, 12(4), 1-14. Available:

Hurst, C. & Cooke, A. (2012). Seeking a balance: helping pre-service teachers develop positive attitudes towards mathematics as they develop competency. Paper presented at Joint AARE and APERA international conference, Sydney.

Klein, A. (2012). Content knowledge confidence for teacher candidates. New York State Mathematics Teachers’ Journal, 62(2), 57-67. Retrieved March 2016 from:

Livy, S., Muir, T., & Maher, N. (2012). How do they measure up? Primary pre-service teachers’ mathematical knowledge of area and perimeter. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 14(2), 91-112. Available:

Livy, S., & Vale, C. (2011). First year pre-service teachers’ mathematical content knowledge: Methods of solution for a ratio question. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 13(2), 22-43. Available:

Maher, N., & Muir, T. (2013). I know you have to put down a zero, but I’m not sure why: Exploring the link between pre-service teachers’ content and pedagogical content knowledge. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 15(1), 72-87. Available:

Meaney, T., & Lange, T. (2012). Knowing mathematics to be a teacher. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 14(2), 50-69. Available:

Pon, K. (2013). Data analysis and next generation assessments. Leadership, 42(3), 30-32, 34-36. Available:

Ponte, J., & Chapman, O. (2008). Preservice mathematics teachers’ knowledge and development. In L. English (Ed.), Handbook of international research in mathematics education, (pp. 223-261). New York: Routledge

Renshaw, P., Baroutsis, A., van Kraayenoord, C., Goos, M., & Dole, S. (2013). Teachers using classroom data well: Identifying key features of effective practices. Final report. Brisbane: The University of Queensland. Retrieved August 2015 from

Schuck, S. (2009). How did we do? Beginning teachers teaching mathematics in primary schools. Studying Teacher Education: A journal of self-studies of teacher education practices, 5(2), 113-123. Available:

Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15, 4-14. Available:

Timperley, H. (2009). Using assessment data for improving teaching practice. Proceedings of the ACER research conference, Perth, Australia, 21-25. Retrieved January 2015 from

Verschaffel, L., Janssens, S., & Janssen, R. (2005). The development of mathematical competence in Flemish preservice elementary school teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 49-63. Available:

Ward, J., & Thomas, G. (2007). Does teacher knowledge make a difference? Findings from the New Zealand Numeracy Development Projects 2007. Retrieved May 2015 at

Wieman, R. (2014). Using data to improve instruction: Different approaches for different goals. Action in Teacher Education, 36(5-6), 546-558. Available:

Young-Loveridge, J., Bicknell, B., & Mills, J. (2012). The mathematical content knowledge and attitudes of New Zealand pre-service primary teachers. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 14(2), 28-49. Available:


Additional Files