Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 129–148 | Cite as

Mathematics for teaching and deep subject knowledge: voices of Mathematics Enhancement Course students in England

  • Jill AdlerEmail author
  • Sarmin Hossain
  • Mary Stevenson
  • John Clarke
  • Rosa Archer
  • Barry Grantham


This article reports an investigation into how students of a mathematics course for prospective secondary mathematics teachers in England talk about the notion of ‘understanding mathematics in depth’, which was an explicit goal of the course. We interviewed eighteen students of the course. Through our social practice frame and in the light of a review of the literature on mathematical knowledge for teaching, we describe three themes that weave through the students’ talk: reasoning, connectedness and being mathematical. We argue that these themes illuminate privileged messages in the course, as well as the boundary and relationship between mathematical and pedagogic content knowledge in secondary mathematics teacher education practice.


Mathematics for teaching Teacher education Deep subject knowledge Secondary Subject matter knowledge Pedagogic content knowledge 



This paper forms part of the QUANTUM-UK research project on Mathematics for Teaching, directed by Jill Adler, at King’s College London and the University of the Witwatersrand. This material is based upon work supported by King’s College London and the National Research Foundation South Africa under Grant number FA2006031800003, and undertaken by the collaborators authoring the paper. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Research Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill Adler
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sarmin Hossain
    • 3
  • Mary Stevenson
    • 4
  • John Clarke
    • 5
  • Rosa Archer
    • 6
  • Barry Grantham
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Education and Professional StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Division of Mathematics Education, School of EducationUniversity of the WitwatersrandP O WitsSouth Africa
  3. 3.School of Sport and EducationBrunel UniversityUxbridgeUK
  4. 4.Department of Teacher EducationLiverpool Hope UniversityHope Park, LiverpoolUK
  5. 5.Cass School of Education and CommunitiesLondonUK
  6. 6.School of Education, Ellen Wilkinson BuildingThe University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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