History of mathematics: illuminating understanding of school mathematics concepts for prospective mathematics teachers
- Kathleen Michelle Clark
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The use of the history of mathematics in teaching has long been considered a tool for enriching students’ mathematical learning. However, in the USA few, if any, research efforts have investigated how the study of history of mathematics contributes to a person's mathematical knowledge for teaching. In this article, I present the results of research conducted over four semesters in which I sought to characterize what prospective mathematics teachers (PMTs) understand about the topics that they will be called upon to teach in the future and how that teaching might include an historical component. In particular, I focus on how the study and application of the history of solving quadratic equations illuminates what PMTs know (or do not know) about this essential secondary school algebraic topic. Additionally, I discuss how the results signal important considerations for mathematics teacher preparation programs with regard to connecting PMTs' mathematical and pedagogical knowledge, and their ability to engage in historical perspectives to improve their own and their future students' understanding of solving quadratic equations.
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- History of mathematics: illuminating understanding of school mathematics concepts for prospective mathematics teachers
Educational Studies in Mathematics
Volume 81, Issue 1 , pp 67-84
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- History of mathematics
- Mathematical knowledge for teaching
- Quadratic equations
- Completing the square
- Mathematics teacher preparation
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA