Developing mathematical knowledge for teaching teachers: potentials of history of mathematics in teacher educator training

  • Uffe Thomas Jankvist
  • Kathleen Michelle ClarkEmail author
  • Reidar Mosvold


What mathematical knowledge is required for teaching has been researched by many, with Ball et al. (J Teach Educ 59(5):389–407, 2008) and their practice-based theory of mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) primary among them. However, what is required in terms of mathematical knowledge for teacher educator training has been researched much less. The present study builds on an emerging framework on mathematical knowledge for teaching teachers (MKTT) by Zopf (Mathematical knowledge for teaching teachers: the mathematical work of and knowledge entailed by teacher education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2010) augmented with more recent developments in the field. The empirical basis for the study stems from an implementation of a short course on history in mathematics education at the Danish School of Education, and in particular on two case studies involving three teacher educator students participating in that course. Based on analyses of their developments in terms of MKTT, we point to the potential of using history in both teacher and teacher educator training, and in particular historical source material. As part of the analyses, we also consider the teacher educator students’ development of disciplinary knowledge of mathematics, especially in relation to developing and making use of knowledge of the epistemology of mathematics and mathematical work. We assert that the cases we present here address Zopf’s call for case studies from different teacher education contexts as well as investigations of novice teacher educators, and further contribute to the developing theory of MKTT.


Mathematical knowledge for teaching Mathematical knowledge for teaching teachers Teacher educator students History of mathematics Primary historical sources 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danish School of EducationAarhus UniversityCopenhagen NVDenmark
  2. 2.School of Teacher EducationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Education and Sports Science, Faculty of Arts and EducationUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway

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