Messages Communicated Through Mathematics Content for Elementary Teachers Course Syllabi: A Focus on Mathematical Disposition and Collaboration


  • Brooke Max Purdue University


Preservice teacher education, mathematics content courses for elementary teachers, syllabi analysis, mathematical disposition, collaboration


Professional organisations have provided recommendations for prospective elementary teachers (PTs) to engage in mathematics coursework designed for teachers. In this study, 37 syllabi obtained from instructors of these courses – termed Mathematics Content for Elementary Teachers (MCfET) courses in this paper – were analysed through the lens of messages communicated about the nature of mathematics teaching and learning. Findings indicate that the syllabi in this study communicated messages about mathematical content as well as messages related to mathematical disposition and the role of collaboration in the mathematics classroom. Syllabi presented mathematical disposition messages in two forms: mathematical (i.e., seeing mathematics in the world, mathematics as a sense-making activity) and personal (i.e., belief in oneself, self-assessment), while other syllabi presented potential to promote mathematical disposition. The role of collaboration was described in general and mathematical terms. Careful construction of these messages can help PTs develop a productive mathematical disposition and consider the role of collaboration as they prepare to teach mathematics.

Author Biography

Brooke Max, Purdue University

Lecturer, Mathematics Department


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